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Water Sector Qualification Development

August 28, 2014 in Event, News by nicoelema

On the 21 August 2014, the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI), on behalf of the Energy and Water Services Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) invited 45 stakeholders representing 32 institutions from across South Africa to partake in a day long workshop.

The purpose of this workshop was to lay the foundation for the development of an Advanced Diploma (National Qualification Framework level 7, servicing the South African water sector. It will be taught at Stellenbosch University. In order to ensure the best possible qualification, the creation thereof will be conducted in a holistic and inclusive process, informed by those who are most knowledgeable in the fields of water, education and qualification creation.

The five main themes of the workshop are as follows:

  • TVET Colleges
  • Articulation
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • Straddling a QCTO and CHE framework
  • Private Public Partnership (PPP)

To read more about this project, click here.

TVET WorkshopSlider

Researchers and industry join forces to improve wastewater management in South Africa

February 4, 2014 in News by nicoelema


Prof Gideon Wolfaardt

A new research chair, sponsored by the East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT), will focus on innovations in water research, as well as upping water treatment and water management skills in the water sector.

The ERWAT Chair in Wastewater Management will be hosted by Stellenbosch University’s Water Institute (SUWI). Prof Gideon Wolfaardt, a recognised expert and leading researcher in the biological and engineering aspects of water research, will be the first research professor to hold the chair.

The focus of the new ERWAT chair will be on scientific and technical advances in wastewater management, water quality, water use and demand, as well as fostering partnerships to improve the water research and management skills of scientists, engineers and technical personnel.
Prof Wolfaardt recently returned from Canada where he held a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Interfaces and Biofilms since 2004.
Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University and Chairman of the SUWI Advisory Board, says ensuring a safe water supply for South Africa and Africa is possible, but will require innovation and action.

“We are very excited about the establishment of the ERWAT Chair and the opportunities it provides for world-class research and innovation in South Africa’s water sector. The institute is also the ideal home for this chair, as we pride ourselves on continually exploring new approaches to water treatment that are durable, cost-effective and more efficient,” he said.

ERWAT’s Managing Director, Mr Pat Twala, says ERWAT has a proud history of working and co-operating with as well as supporting different universities and research institutions. The company looks forward to build on these accomplishments, now in this formal and structured association with Stellenbosch University.

“In a water-scarce country we are continuously faced with ever-changing technical, financial and constitutional challenges in the water industry. We need to find sustainable solutions to these challenges to ensure the protection of our environment and water resources,” Mr Twala maintains.
The official launch of the ERWAT Chair in Wastewater Management will be on Monday 3 February 2014 at 18:30 at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). As part of the event, a public lecture on the link between water and energy will be presented by Prof Gustaf Olsson from Lund University, Sweden. Follow this link for more information on the lecture or go to

The East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT) was established in 1992 as a Section 21 company. Its shareholders are the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (majority shareholder), Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality and Lesedi Local Municipality. ERWAT provides bulk wastewater conveyance and a highly technical and proficient wastewater treatment service to some 2000 industries and more than 3.5 million people who have access to sanitation services. It is currently custodian of 19 wastewater care works, treating a combined capacity of some 696 megalitres of wastewater per day. The majority of the operations are in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council (Eastern Gauteng). For more information, visit our website at

About the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI)
Established in 2010 in response to the formidable and unprecedented challenges that face South Africa and the African continent at large, SUWI is a multi-disciplinary research enterprise that coordinates research from a multitude of academic disciplines such as natural science, social science, agriscience, engineering and law. Research is done in collaboration with government and industry to solve water-related challenges, to provide technology transfer and to develop human resources. For more information, visit our website at

For more information about the launch, contact Nora Hanke at, 021 808 9514.
Caption: Prof Gideon Wolfaardt will hold the new ERWAT Research Chair in Wastewater Management at Stellenbosch University.

Issued by Wiida Fourie-Basson, media: Faculty of Science, Stellenbosch University, 021 808 2684,, 071 099 5721


The launch of the ERWAT Research Initiative at Stellenbosch University. Monday 3 February 2013

January 28, 2014 in Event by nicoelema

The official launch of the ERWAT Research Chair, which has been awarded to the Stellenbosch University to foster partnerships in water research utilization and training, will take place on Monday 3 February 2014 at the STIAS, Stellenbosch from 18:30.

As part of the event, a public lecture will be presented by

Professor Gustaf Olsson (Lund University, Sweden)

focusing on

Water and Energy linkages

The aim of the seminar is to create an awareness of the important couplings between water and energy. It shows how energy is used in a variety of water cycle operations and demonstrates how water is used – and misused – in all kinds of energy production and generation.

Population increase, climate change and an increasing competition between food and fuel production create enormous pressures on both water and energy availability. Since there is no replacement for water, water security looks more crucial than energy security. This is true not only in developing countries but also in the most advanced countries. For example, the western parts of the USA suffer from water scarcity that provides a real security threat.

The presentation does not aim to show “how to design” or to solve some of the very intricate conflicts between water and energy. Instead it will demonstrate ideas, possibilities and a number of results as well as challenges for research.

The water-energy issue is not only about technology. It is our attitudes and our lifestyle that can significantly influence the consumption of both water and energy. We all have to be reminded that when we use water we use energy. Also, when we use energy we use water.



18:30 – Welcome Cocktails

19:00 – Opening remarks by Prof. Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector and Chairman of the Board of the Stellenbosch University Water Institute and lecture by Prof. Gustaf Olsson, Lund University Sweden

Venue: STIAS, The Centre for Advanced Study in South Africa; Marais Road (secure parking available); 7600 Stellenbosch

RSVP to Ms Nora Hanke,, 021 808 9514 by Thursday, 30 January 2014. Please note that the spaces are limited, first come first serve

Speaker Biography

Gustaf Olsson is professor in Industrial automation and since 2006 professor emeritus at Lund University, Sweden. He has devoted his research to control and automation in water systems, electrical power systems and industrial processes. His research has lately been focused on the water-energy nexus.

Since 2006 he has shared his time as a guest professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, the Technical University of Malaysia (UTM) and at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He is honorary faculty member of the Exeter University in UK. Between 2005 and 2010 he was the editor-in-chief of the journal Water Science and Technology. From 2007 to 2010 he has been a member of the IWA (International Water Association) Board of Directors. In 2010 he received the IWA Publication Award. In 2012 he was the awardee of an Honorary Doctor degree at UTM and an Honorary Membership of IWA.

Gustaf has guided 23 PhDs and a few hundred MSc students. He has received the Lund University pedagogical award for “distinguished achievements in the education” and has been elected the “teacher of the year” by the Lund University engineering students.

Gustaf has authored 9 international books – some of them published also in Russian, German and Chinese – and contributed with chapters in another 19 books as well as about 160 scientific publications. His most recent book called “Water and Energy – Threats and Opportunities” (IWA Publications) was published in 2012.

Law and other disciplines to work together to tackle world’s major challenges

December 3, 2013 in Event, News by nicoelema

“Disciplines have to work together in future to inform lawmakers and policymakers to craft laws that will lead to more safety, security and peace and more co-operation around the world.”

These were the words of Prof Oliver Ruppel, Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch University (SU) and co-editor of the two-volume publication Climate Change: International Law and Global Governance – at the launch of both the book and the Development of the Rule of Law Programme (DROP) – a newly established research unit at SU, which was held on 28 November 2013.

Ruppel, who is also Director of DROP, said: “The reason DROP was initiated was because the world has become extremely complex, uncertain and volatile. Issues such as the financial crisis, climate change and food insecurity are issues we will not be able to address sufficiently if we do not involve the law, because the law is a guiding hand and we will live in uncertainty if we do not use the law properly to regulate our lives.

“Drop is about shaping the law for the future and to do that we cannot continue to work in isolation.  In order to craft the law for the future we must create interdisciplinary platforms that create synergies on the basis of which disciplines can cross fertilize each other.”

In her address Prof Sonia Human, Dean of the Faculty of Law, said that as a champion of children’s rights she is very excited about the launch of DROP, “because I am sure it will affect and improve the lives of future generations, especially those of children”.

Prof Eugene Cloete, SU Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation and Chairperson of the Water Institute, said: “After having a look at the content of these two volumes, I have no doubt that this will provide a solid base from which we can address climate change and other governance issues, also with regard to sustainability – not only in South Africa, but worldwide.”

Climate Change: International Law and Global Governance by Ruppel, Christian Roschmann and Katharina Ruppel-Schlichting, is one of the first academic attempts to systematically address both international climate change law and global climate change governance.

“International climate change law is not only a new and emerging legal discipline. In fact, climate change permeates public and private law, national and international law in many ways creating intersections of law in its diverse procedural and substantive fields,” explains Ruppel.

“The publication deals with international law and the multiple regulatory regimes dealing with climate change. International climate change law, global climate governance and diplomacy are interrelated and extremely complex. The publication explores these areas from a variety of doctrinal, trans-disciplinary and thematic perspectives.”

DROP is aimed at researching “sustainable development law and policy” focusing on reconciling the tension between environmental sustainability, economic development, and human welfare with a holistic view of current legal, political, economic, social and cultural developments. While focusing on issues of distributive justice it integrates public international law (i.e. international economic, social, and environmental law), regional and national law and policy with the goal of enhancing the rule of law around the world and reducing poverty in developing nations. Flagship areas are expected to tackle aquatic, oceanic, atmospheric and energy related justice questions.

The launch event was preceded by the first annual Climate Change and Water Trans-disciplinary Forum held at Stellenbosch University aimed at strengthening the exchange of multidisciplinary approaches in the water and climate change sector. Seven students from the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Law, all based at Stellenbosch University, presented their research.

For more information on DROP or visit

​ Author: Sonika Lamprecht