Enabled And Innovative Growth
Umgeni Water is a state-owned business enterprise that was established in 1974 to supply drinking water in bulk to the municipalities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg and to consumers in the corridor of these cities. The organisation has grown over the years to become the largest bulk potable water provision entity in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and the second-largest water utility in South Africa.
Umgeni Water, the group, currently has a total of 1 231 personnel at its various sites. Most of them are involved in all of the functional areas of Umgeni Water: finance, asset management, planning of projects, project management, water quality, water resource management and environmental science and management.
The service area of Umgeni Water was extended in December 2015 to cover the entire Province of KwaZulu-Natal, amounting to 94 359 square kilometres. There are 54 municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, 43 of which are local municipalities, ten are district municipalities and one is a metro.
Fourteen of these municipalities are Water Services Authorities, as determined by the Water Services Act. Of these Water Services Authorities, seven are customers of Umgeni Water. They are eThekwini Metro, Msunduzi Local Municipality, iLembe District Municipality, Ugu District Municipality, Harry Gwala District Municipality, uMgungundlovu District Municipality and uThukela District Municipality.
Umgeni Water’s involvement in uThukela District now means the organisation will cover 44% of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, from its original 32%, and the water it treats and supplies will ultimately reach 73% of the Province’s population of 11.1 million people, or 29 million households.
The key activities of Umgeni Water, as defined in the Water Services Act (Section 29), are to provide water services (bulk potable/drinking water and sanitation services) to water services authorities (municipalities).
The mandate of Umgeni Water designates to it the functions of a Water Services Provider. Section 30 of the Water Services Act allows Umgeni Water to undertake other activities, provided these do not impact negatively on the organisation's ability to undertake its primary function.
In order to conduct its business activities, the organisation uses the following assets, which are either owned by it or managed on behalf of the Department of Water and Sanitation and some municipalities:
• Approximately 897 kilometres of pipelines
• Approximately 53 kilometres of tunnels
• 14 impoundments, six of which are managed on behalf of the Department of Water and Sanitation and two on behalf of Ugu District Municipality
• 12 wastewater treatment works
• 17 water treatment works
Umgeni Water continues to receive full co-operation from its stakeholders, illustrating again that the organisation's objective of achieving stakeholder understanding and support has indeed been fulfilled.
As May 2019 drew to a close, there were significant changes to the institutionalised water and sanitation sectors that accompanied the realignment of government departments and appointment of a new Cabinet by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa. Water and sanitation have now been incorporated under the umbrella of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, headed by a new minister and two deputy ministers.
The Road Ahead
Stewardship of the organisation is the responsibility of the chief executive and a strong executive team who will continue to ensure that the organisation remains both stable and sustainable. Excellence in service delivery continues to be maintained, along with an affordable bulk potable water tariff. These are key ingredients for accelerated socio-economic development which illustrate Umgeni Water's commitment to contribute to reduction of the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Umgeni Water remains committed to the National Government's institutional realignment vision and will continue to provide expert advice when called upon to do so. In line with Umgeni Water's strategic focus on Enabled and Innovative Growth, personnel will intensify efforts to expand coverage in KwaZulu-Natal through provision of services and products to municipalities that are facing service delivery challenges, or when requested by the Provincial Government or the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation to intervene as implementing agent. Retention and growth and further penetration of current markets; and development, on demand, of new markets will also be actively pursued.
Full Name of Company: Umgeni Water
Nature of Business: Water management and the largest bulk water supplier
Date Established: 1974
Ownership: State-owned business
To be the leading water utility that enhances value in the provision of bulk water and sanitation services.
Provide innovative sustainable, effective and affordable bulk water and sanitation services.
Chief Executive: Thami Hlongwa
Executive in charge of Operations: Msizi Cele
Executive in charge of Infrastructure Development: Sibusiso Mjwara
Executive in charge of Scientific Services: Manu Pillay
Executive in charge of Finance: Lungi Mkhize
Company Secretary: Sibusiso Madonsela
Physical Address: 310 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3200
Postal Address: P.O. Box 9, Pietermaritzburg, 3200, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)33 341 1111 Fax: +27 (0)33 341 1116
Umgeni Water is a state-owned business enterprise that was established in 1974 to supply drinking water in bulk to the municipalities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg and to consumers in the corridor of these cities. The organisation has grown over the years to become the largest bulk potable water provision entity in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and the second-largest water utility in South Africa