South Africa: technical assistance to the National Community Water and Sanitation Training Institute (NCWSTI)


Training system for the water supply and sanitation sector

(The News N° 16 - December 2008)

IOWater, with the support of French Cooperation, has provided technical assistance to the National Community Water and Sanitation Training Institute (NCWSTI) since 2005.

In April 2008, a training program was carried out on the methods and tools for Human Resources Management (HRM) and the training of the staff of the water sector. On this occasion, the Regional Department of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (DWAF) had mobilized more than twenty people in charge of HRM who could discover the latest procedures applied in the specialized companies of the water sector.

This South-African staff was particularly interested in the methods used for staff evaluation and for the development and contents of Business References.

As a supplement, IOWater drafted a plan - a master plan - for developing the training offer of the NCWSTI in order to enable it to structure and organize the service provided to its customers.
In 2008 (International Sanitation Year) the DWAF and NCWSTI invited the IOWater representatives to participate in some events organized to celebrate the huge efforts made by the South-African Government to improve the conditions of hygiene and health in rural areas.

The DWAF and NCWSTI executives also requested IOWater to organize a “workshop”, the objective of which was to renew the development strategy of this training institution and to support its revival.

The NCWSTI project

The Project consisted in providing technical and teaching assistance to the National Community Water and Sanitation Training Institute (NCWSTI), located in the Northern University at about 40 km from the regional capital of Polokwane (Limpopo Province).

The Project aimed at building NCWSTI training capacities, in terms of educational equipment, at widening its training offer to the staffs of the South-African drinking water supply and sanitation utilities, but also at creating a network of internal trainers allowing the dissemination of these actions in Southern Africa.

Thanks to a financial support from the French Embassy in Pretoria, NCWSTI built a series of training units, allowing the launching of practical training programs on the laying out and maintenance of drinking water supply systems.

These first units were then supplemented by educational equipment on sanitation systems.

An "incubator" of 110 internal trainers, composed of staff members of the South-African water utilities, was created at the same time and benefited from multiple training activities carried out within this contract associating IOWater and SAUR:
* 5 training courses on objective-related teaching, from May to October 2005;
* 5 training courses on trainers’ accreditation, from June to October 2005, in conformity with the rules laid down by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA);
* 4 training courses on wastewater treatment, in December 2005 and March 2006;
* 4 training courses on drinking water treatment, in January and June 2006;
* 4 training courses on electric maintenance and automated systems, in January 2006 and January 2007;
* 2 training courses on the commercial management of customers of water utilities, in March 2006;
* 1 training course on the management of water utilities (performance indicators), in October 2006;
* 2 training courses on mechanical maintenance, in February 2007.

In November 2006, with the approval of the Project Steering Committee and with the support of the French Embassy, IOWater organized a technical visit in France for Mr. G. Djolov (NCWSTI Director), Mr. A. Matukane (Regional DWAF in Limpopo Province) and Mrs. Yaleswa Witboi (DWAF in Pretoria) on the occasion of the POLLUTEC Fair in Lyons. The delegation met many industrialists and equipment suppliers of the sector and discovered the new technologies developed in the water sector.

This visit of the Pollutec Fair was supplemented by a visit to IOWater’s National Training Center for Water Professions in Limoges and La Souterraine, and by meetings in Paris with representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MAE) and French Development Agency (AFD).

Professor N.M Mollel replaced Professor G. Djolov at the head of NCWSTI in June 2007.

At Professor Mollel’s request, IOWater will develop proposals for strengthening the NCWSTI development strategy by establishing a "business plan" and a framework for the creation of 2 regional branches in Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal.

Finally, it is planned to supplement the training activities on Human Resources Management in water utilities, including, in particular, the management of their staff training plans.