South Africa’s Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has signed a very important water agreement with Italy.
In the agreement, which was signed recently, both countries have committed themselves to developing plans aimed at mitigating climate change by offering sustainable and integrated water resources.
Part of the memorandum of understanding is that the country will ensure education, training and research in the areas of water resource management, water quality enhancement, rural sanitation technology and water service management.
The treaty will also make sure that both nations work jointly on projects that will enhance technology transfer, capacity building and technical assistance.
These projects will primarily centre on empowering previously marginalized groups in the society like youth, women and people with disabilities.
Minister Mokonyane, during the signing ceremony in Johannesburg, said the memorandum will make sure that both nations share knowledge expertise to mitigate climate change.
She added that South Africa’s partnership with the Italians is geared at helping the country strengthen its waste water treatment capacity as well as urban and rural onsite and offsite sanitation systems.
The minister said the main agenda of the South African government is to make sure that inequalities are reduced, poverty is eradicated and that employment opportunities are created.
Barbara Degani, Italy’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Land and Sea, who led the Italian delegation, said she is very happy to have signed the memorandum with South Africa. She appreciated Minister Mokonyane for all her efforts and dedication in making sure that the two countries work together harmoniously.
A Joint Steering Committee will be set up to make sure the commitments made in the memorandum are fully implemented. The committee will be made of three representatives from the Department of Water and Sanitation and Italian Republic Department of Environment, Land and Sea.
The memorandum follows a ministerial visit to Italy in September last year, where the departmental delegation, led by Minister Mokonyane and her deputy Pamela Tshwete, met and had talks with various stakeholders in the water sector.