During the IMESA conference in Port Elizabeth (23-25th of October) the Centre of Expertise was presented to about 800 senior municipal officials (most of them engineers employed by municipalities). The presentation was well received and has laid a good base for engaging further with the South African Utilities. The City of Cape Town has since that IMESA presentation formally committed to participating in the Centre of Expertise as well. The collaboration with Port Elizabeth is heading off as well. Johannesburg Water PTY LTD is going through the internal processes to be able to officially participate in the Centre of Expertise as well.
November has been an incredibly busy month for the Centre of Expertise. The month started with a visit to the Aquatech in the Netherlands. During this trip a number of possible new showcases have been identified. Then, back in South Africa the Centre of Expertise in Durban was officially launched. This event underlines the commitment (and political buy-in) of the Centre of Expertise in Durban and hit the local papers. During the launch the Dutch Ambassador, the Speaker of the eThekwini city council and the head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation launched a water bottle rocket symbolizing the launch of the Centre of Expertise.
November ended with a site activity: a one week, customized training of 20 staff from Bulawayo as part of a Nuffic Training program. Bulawayo has a twin city relationship with eThekwini and has also shown interest in participation in the Centre of Expertise. On the Southern hemisphere the summer holiday is now commencing, so the office is getting empty and there is some time to catch up on administration and other activities that have been put aside during these busy last weeks.