Established by the Government Notice 234 of 1969, the Board of Magalies Water currently operates in terms of the Water Services Act of 1997. Initially, the board was launched with a view to supplying the platinum mines in the Rustenburg and Thabazimbi areas. Since then, the company has expanded for the benefit of its surrounding communities.
This year, it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Magalies Water is state-owned, providing a range of water and sanitation services, operating in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga. It supplies clean water to the Water Service Authorities (WSA) in these areas. To date, Magalies Water currently operates in eight potable water treatment plants.
Magalies Water boasts the best technology in water purification with everything in one place. Providing water and sanitation is a national imperative and this is the mandate that we have to execute. The company has had a 40 year vintage and what we have done as a business - we have done very well.
The role of Magalies Water covers a range of functions, from water services, laboratory (scientific) services and asset management, to other support functions such as; operation and maintenance, safety, health and environment, catchment management planning, development and implementation, water conservation and demand management, administration, financial services, human resources, training and development, as well as corporate social investments (CSI).
Magalies Water is also charged with helping municipalities comply with quality standards as set by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs for Blue and Green Drop Certification.
In 2008, South African tap water came under scrutiny with the outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe and its spread into South Africa. During that time and to the present day, Magalies Water aims to ensure that South African water meets international standards through the provision of scientific services to all its water treatment plants.
Part of the company’s strategy is to assist municipalities with the replacement of asbestos pipelines to Polyvinylchloride pipelines, as well as the general maintenance and upgrading of the infrastructure. Without maintenance and upgrading of the infrastructure, it will be impossible to meet the national challenge over water and sanitation.
As part of its CSI strategy, the organisation works closely with community projects and initiatives, offering funding and education to support particular needs.
“We are customer-centric. We are unashamedly pro-poor. We make a commitment and offer a concomitant support to Water Services Authorities where we provide retail services that we will fix a pipe burst within 24 hours - and we have never exceeded that.
In line with the company being ‘pro-poor’ Magalies Water staff ensure the construction and maintenance of boreholes in outlying areas as well as making sure that they are sustainable. In areas without many alternatives, borehole water is essential. The company is also considering other water resources to relieve areas that demand the use of more water by getting the mining industry to re-use industrial effluent for their processing.
Magalies Water is part of a consortium with Bigen Africa and ABSA Bank in the Roodeplaat Temba Water Services Trust and the Rustenburg Water Services Trust. As part of its involvement within the SADC region, Magalies Water has signed a cooperation agreement for a twinning relationship with Nkana Water and Sewerage Company in Zambia.
The utility has also been awarded the ISO14001 certificate for ensuring Ecoefficiency in its operations and plans to keep its operations environmentally-friendly. Even where there are problems, this commitment remains. “We have managed to provide water with SABS (now SANS) approval for 40 years. There is no reason why we will not continue doing exactly that.