W@tskills-South Africa 2021

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W@tskills-South Africa 2021

February 25, 2021 - March 9, 2021

About The Event

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5th Wetskills Water Challenge in South Africa!

Online event by Wetskills in cooperation with Department for Water and Sanitation, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Water Institute of Southern Africa and Blue Deal programme.

Participants were working in mixed teams on challenging water cases, provided by the Blue deal program, and other local and international water organizations.

Wetskills is celebrating its 10 Years Jubilee! This was also celebrated  during the online Finals and Awarding Ceremony on 9 March 2021, where we also memorated previous events in Southern Africa, with partners and alumni.

Previous events were: Cape Town 2012, Nelspruit 2014, Durban 2016 and Cape Town 2018. Read more about the great finals at the WISA 2018 Conference in Cape Town in presence of Minister Gugile Nkwinti of Water and Sanitation of South Africa, and Dutch Special Water Envoy Henk Ovink.

'It was such a wonderful experience. I am so enthusiastic. I want more..' 🙂

The 2018 programme

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The 2018 Finals & Awarding

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Event Cases

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Case 1: Sustainable empowerment of local community for cleaning rivers

Case owner: DUCT & Blue Deal South Africa (project uMsunduzi River)

The uMsunduzi and Umgeni River systems have become badly degraded through neglect and over exploitation. The mission of the Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) is to empower local citizens to be champions of the environment (Enviro-Champs) in their local community. Through a green livelihoods programme, people living adjacent to rivers are given the responsibility to adopt-a-stretch – cleaning, maintaining, greening, restoring, and undertaking citizen science monitoring on that section of the river. The challenge that DUCT now faces is how to create a (financially) sustainable business model for the activities. Government, private, and civil society partners all have something to give, and value to gain from being involved. How do we bring this together in a long-term sustainable ‘win-win’ way?

Case 2: LookSeeDo: Virtual Reality experience for capacitating staff

Case owner: JumpLoom & Blue Deal South Africa (project Crocodile River)

South Africa is facing an immediate water crisis caused, by amongst others, insufficient water infrastructure maintenance, a lack of investment and inadequate technical skills. Many WWTWs are failing to comply with their stipulated license conditions, are not “Green Drop certified” as required by the Department of Water and Sanitation, and at least 30% are at a high risk of failure. One of the key challenges is the lack of ongoing regular and appropriate WWTW staff training. Virtual reality (VR), as training and education method, could bring new opportunities for (cost)effective training provision. Could JumpLoom become a sustainable value-add given the current technical skills challenges in the South African Wastewater sector?

Case 3: Swamp-friendly Water Hyacinth harvesting

Case owner: Blue Deal South Africa (project Vaal River)

The Vaal river is known for its poor water quality. The Blesbokspruit wetland (BBS), located in the Upper Vaal catchment, is one of the 26 RAMSAR sites in South Africa. The BSS is close to losing its status due to threats of pollution resulting in low water quality. One of the main challenges is the invasive alien species like the water hyacinth, which is well-known for its fast growing and destructive attitude. The water hyacinth is also a useful plant for improving water quality and purposes as energy production, water purification and building materials. The main question for the BBS: How can the water hyacinth be prevented spreading or collected in a sustainable and self-supportive way.

Previous events in South Africa

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Event Partners

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Join this Wetskills event!


February 25, 2021
March 9, 2021
Event Category:


Sandton, Gauteng South Africa


Odwa Mtembu
Ioana Dobrescu
Peter de Jong
Johan Oost