NEW – Rustenburg Innovative Financing Arrangements
The water services provider, Rustenburg Municipality, was rated as the 3rd most distressed in South Africa and thus unable to raise the finance required to address the problems. To address this challenge, a joint initiative was undertaken between the mines and the municipality to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with a 22-year concession to finance, upgrade and operate water infrastructure. The key to the success of the SPV was the signing of a long term offtake agreement with the mines for the provision of non-potable treated wastewater. This forms 75% of the SPV’s revenue. The mines previously relied on freshwater that was imported from neighboring catchments. The move to the use of non-potable has enabled the re-allocation of the imported freshwater to the municipality thus increasing the overall freshwater resource that is available in the catchment. Partial improvements in downstream water quality have also been made through better wastewater treatment.