SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

March 08, 2011 01:30 ET

Increased Need to Comply With Water and Wastewater Quality Requirements in South Africa Bodes Well for Market Prospects, Finds Frost & Sullivan

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - The weak enforcement of municipal legislation, particularly the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), has resulted in limited investment into water and wastewater infrastructure in South Africa. Most municipalities do not report on their expenditure trends and hence prioritise employee related expenses when compared to repairs and maintenance work.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, The South African Municipal Water Market: 2010 Operational and Capital Expenditure Analysis, finds that the market is set to grow due to government intervention in ensuring that municipalities comply with the current legislative requirements on the operation of water and wastewater treatment plants.

"The increased need by municipalities to comply with their operational requirements is currently driving growth in this market," notes Frost & Sullivan Environmental & Building Technologies Research Analyst Derrick Chikanga. "Most local municipalities barely undertake routine maintenance of their wastewater infrastructure and this has resulted in the poor to non-functional state of the bulk of the wastewater treatment plants."

According to the Green Drop Report released on 29 April, 2010 by the South African Department of Water Affairs, only 32 of the 449 wastewater treatment plants that were assessed were awarded Green Drop status. The bulk of these plants (28) are operated by metropolitan municipalities which have both the capacity and the resources to operate efficiently.

Most municipalities do not comply with the legislative requirements of maintaining up-to-date information on their operations. Lack of information gathering prevents any meaningful attempt at plant control and effluent compliance.

"The Department of Environmental Affairs needs to ensure that municipalities maintain up-to-date information with regards to their wastewater treatment works," emphasises Chikanga. "Most wastewater treatment plants are not operating according to the expected requirements and therefore not in possession of management information required for Green Drop assessments. This information assists equipment suppliers in assessing the infrastructural needs of municipalities."

Despite numerous challenges present due to the lack of compliance, the market still presents significant opportunities for growth. Equipment suppliers need to supply products within the budgets of most municipalities to complement the technology types currently on offer.

"Municipalities are faced with budget constraints and prioritise their most important needs," remarks Chikanga. "Therefore, the provision of cost-effective technologies and services that are reliable is an important element in this market."

The South African Municipal Water Market: 2010 Operational and Capital Expenditure Analysis is part of the Environmental Growth Partnership Services, which also includes research in the following markets: An Overview of sub-Saharan Africa's Water Markets, Procurement Processes and Outsourcing in the South African Water and Wastewater Market, South African Desalination Plant Markets, South and East African Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets and South African Industrial Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Christie Cronje, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.

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The South African Municipal Water Market: 2010 Operational and Capital Expenditure Analysis