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Emfuleni for Change

Emfuleni for Change NPC (EfC) is constituted as a Non-Profit Company in terms of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) of South Africa, with registration number 2019/417572/08. It is not owned by any one organisation; it is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), spearheaded by Mr. Jaco Verwey of the Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce (GTCoC) in August 2019 and sponsored by the Business Community (refer to our Benefactors Page), that acts in the best interest of Public- and Private Enterprise for the benefit of the whole community.

Mission

The two Prime Directives are:

  1. Emfuleni Intervention Program (EIP)
  2. Community Projects in Support of the EIP

What is the EIP? It is the ‘peg in the ground’, the final act in the very survival of our community, where we, as the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, represented by EfC and its members, have taken a stand against the Corruption, Ineptitude and Gross Dereliction of Duties by Civil Servants at every level…

The EIP consists of the following 3 ‘Waves’; think of these as the waves of a Tsunami, an Unstoppable Movement for Positive Change:

Wave One – Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation of the apocalyptic nature of Strategic Municipal Assets, including, but not limited to, Electricity, Water & Sanitation, Roads Infrastructure and Waste Management.

The First Wave will wash away the most obvious ‘hot spots’ (crises management) in its path, but subsequent Ripples will ensure that we align the infrastructure with global best practice, including the adoption of new, disruptive technologies like sustainable, renewable energy, etc. Check out our Notable Research page for a glimpse into the future.

Wave Two – Re-purposing

Re-purposing of Resources (including People), Policy and Process to restore municipal Service Delivery to Global Best Practice.

The Second Wave will wipe the slate clean (of corruption, ineptitude and dereliction of duties), followed by many Ripples that will see the return of world-class service delivery in Emfuleni.

Wave Three – Restitution

Restitution of our Rights as Law-abiding, Tax-paying Citizens to Prosperity and Happiness.

The Third Wave will be a massive awareness campaign that will Wake Up and Call every one of the 250,000-odd households in Emfuleni to Action in support for the EIP.

However, an integral part of the mission will also focus on rolling out (replicating) the 3-Part Strategy for Change throughout our beloved South Africa (see below), to change its current ‘label’ as a Corrupt Nation!

Vision

At a high level, the Roadmap for the next 10 years looks as follows, starting from 03 July 2020, when we officially launched the EIP:

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. However, without structure and teamwork (between public- and private enterprise), this glimpse will remain just that, a glimpse.

Agents of Change – The Special Purpose vehicle

EfC is an umbrella enterprise to guide the direction of Associated Business- and Community-based organizations (Full- and Associated Members) in pursuit of the Vision. It will not interfere with Members’ vision or mission, but to the extent that there is overlap or clash, the SPV (EfC) will direct alignment.

Together we Stand, Divided we Fall…

Replication Model

This model is envisioned as the first of many multitudes of SPVs that will be replicated throughout South Africa, at great speed, to assist communities that are in the same boat, rather than them spinning wheels on reinventing the wheel.

The model is based on a holistic approach that encompasses a 3-Part Strategy for Change (see below), involving all Stakeholders and Role Players, Public and Private, in achiving the Vision.

We have seen many attempts by communities attempting recovery in isolated areas, or focussing on specific burning points, with some success, but if we are going to succeed, we need a holistic approach that takes into consideration up-stream and down-stream impacts, on a National scale. We need to address the rot at its roots, its very core, before we can think of repairing the branches.

Contact Us now if you need to join this Unstoppable Movement for Positive Change (UMPC).

The Future of Water & Energy Infrastructure in South Africa

Be Prepared for Two Competing Business Models

© Dr. Anthony Turton 2019

The water crisis in South Africa is entering a new phase, so let me share my thoughts on the dynamics that are likely to be playing out over the next few months of this transition.

To make any sensible prediction, one needs to first understand the fundamental drivers at work These are as follows:

  • The South African economy became water constrained in 2004.
  • The economy became capital constrained in 2013 during the height of the Zuma presidency and the Bell Pottinger campaign against White Monopoly Capital (WMC).
  • We now see significant failure of municipal infrastructure across the country, ranging from small municipalities (Ugu District in KZN) through medium sized municipalities (Makhanda in EC) and large municipalities (Emfuleni).
  • The economic constraints manifest as a fiscal imbalance, so the Fiscus is now constrained, and a Fiscal Cliff is increasingly likely.
  • SOE’s have ratcheted up risk to the extent that failure by one of the larger SOE’s (Eskom) could trigger a domino effect that can literally bankrupt the government.
  • The state of infrastructure collapse is across the board, but most acutely felt in the water services and energy supply sectors, with cumulative debt from dysfunctional municipalities now of such a magnitude that the entire economy is increasingly at risk.

In short, we are in deep crisis. The Titanic has hit the iceberg, but we are still afloat – only just.

How is this likely to play out in the water sector over the next 12 months?

I see two major dynamics at work, each best represented by a Model. Let me give each a name, because I believe we will be seeing greater evidence of both models trying to gain traction, sometimes succeeding, but sometimes facing headwinds and winding backwards again.

This is how I believe each of these models is structured:

SOE Model

The SOE model is the dominant one currently but is coming to the logical end of its useful life. It is central to the Developmental State thinking, in which the economy is subsumed to the State. The conflict against private capital, initiated by Bell Pottinger, is unfinished, but still lingering in the ashes of a moribund but not yet dead economy. The role of business in this model is reduced to one of tax paying only, so the logical outcome is for companies to divest in order to protect their interests. This is evident as FDI outflow and is thus measurable. I therefore see the SOE model as sustaining its attack against the private sector by excluding active involvement in solution-seeking.

Listed companies are hesitant to contract with bankrupt municipalities, and unlisted companies with deep expertise in water treatment and management, are driven into financial distress because of non-payment. Therefore, the role of the mainstream private sector will always remain marginal in this model.

In preparation for this phase, we are likely to see functional SOE’s expanding into the realm of dysfunctional municipalities, most notably in the areas of water services and wastewater management initiatives. Central to all SOE activity will be the desire to control the value chain, most notably becoming the only gatekeeper in the procurement process.  All contracts involving the private sector will be given to approved companies, so the process of tendering will be inherently skewed.  This increases the likelihood of kickbacks and corruption. The sole source of revenue for this model is the Fiscus, so it is unlikely to be sustainable because of diminishing tax flows, but before it crashes, we are likely to see a concerted effort to gain final control.

Corruption cannot be rooted out in this model, because the absence of ring-fencing regulations in the Municipal Financial Management legislation means that capital put into a specific project, can easily be diverted into a different project, with no means of control. It is this mechanism that has been exploited to divert revenues into patronage schemes, which are inherent to this model. In fact, it can safely be concluded that SOE’s have become nothing more than vehicles for the distribution of patronage by a once legitimate developmental state in the hands of corrupt leadership (refer to State Capture and the Zondo Commission).

In all probability this will play itself out wherever major revenues are needed (hundreds of millions to billions of Rand), but specifically where these coincide with substantial municipal failure. From a strategic perspective, defined in terms of the number of multipliers and knock-on effects that are likely to arise, the Emfuleni sewage crisis is probably the most significant.

Consequently, an example of a project to watch is Metsi le Temo, which could be tempted to sink its roots into a portion of the R5 billion flow of cash needed to stabilize the Emfuleni sewage crisis (DWS estimates and likely to grow).

This project has proposed that nutrients should not be removed (i.e. partial treatment of sewage to increase the flow through an overloaded plant) in order to be used as fertilizer on the land. This is justified by referring to the cost of building a new plant with greater capacity and next generation technology. It also proposes a different water use license that enables nutrients to be left in the effluent, but it remains unclear how this will be managed without driving eutrophication of the Vaal. This will require public participation in the licensing process where greater clarity can be obtained.

It is in this light that recent media announcements by the Deputy Minister of Water Mr David Mahlobo could be interpreted. One possible interpretation is that he effectively called for a cessation of debate about culpability, to be replaced by a renewed enthusiasm for this proposed initiative that will use enriched sewage effluent to reduce poverty by stimulating irrigated agriculture on a relatively small piece of land. This is probably incapable of creating the number of livelihoods needed to be measurably effective as a poverty eradication program, but the jury is still out until more facts are publicly available.

This model is probably unable to overcome the fact that our economy is water constrained, because it continues to manage water as a stock in a linear economy, so we will continue to see sluggish job creation. This will increase social pressures as people are driven to desperate measures merely to survive. Poverty reduction will probably be used to legitimise the efforts at gaining control over the financial flows, but no measurable impact will occur, and poverty will grow. Astute questioning during the public participation phase of the integrated water use license application (IWULA) will reveal these inconsistencies, so that process is likely to be sidelined – hence the call for unity of purpose by the Deputy Minister to smooth things over in anticipation.

Bankable Feasibility Studies (BFS) and Cost-Benefit Analyses will always be absent in the SOE Model, because information contained in those instruments will show the extent of inefficiency (conversely the quantum of patronage extorted from the taxpaying public).

Beneficiation Model

The Beneficiation Model is latent, with the best example of success being the Durban South WWTW where effluent is treated to a safe standard and then used as industrial process water in the Natref Refinery and a nearby paper mill. This model is a potential instrument for a reinvigorated circular economy, because the Durban South WWTW case has shown that sewage effluent can be safely treated and used in industry, alleviating pressure on potable water. This has also shown that private capital does not mean the privatization of water resources, which is a sensitive issue.

The Beneficiation Model overcomes the contractual constrains arising from bankrupt municipalities unable to pay their bills, by using a legal instrument known as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). These SPV’s have a robust track record in the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) sphere globally, so they are tried and trusted. The advantage of this model is that existing expertise in the private sector can be rapidly deployed across the water sector, at a greatly reduced cost. The cost reduction is derived from the efficiency of deploying capital, so corruption is limited.

The taxpayer is protected, because wherever money from the fiscus is used, it is accounted for and leveraged with private capital to achieve greater efficiency. Because of the legal protection inherent to the SPV instrument, private capital can enter the system with confidence. This means that the Fiscus is no longer the sole source of finance for any infrastructure project, so taxes can be used to greater effect elsewhere in the economy (e.g. social grants to indigent families). In effect capital constraints can be overcome by making South Africa more investment friendly. Ratings agency status is a critical variable, because a downgrade to junk status will simply raise the cost of capital.

This model could become a catalyst in the transition from a linear to a circular economy, so it unlocks many multipliers if it is allowed to flourish. In effect waste management could become the nucleus of an invigorated economy, centred on beneficiation. Therefore, we can start to add-value in other sectors such as commodities currently exported in raw low-value form to be beneficiated elsewhere. This model is likely to be relevant in strategically important areas where water constraints are acutely felt. For this reason all coastal cities could see this model being deployed in the beneficiation of sewage for industrial process water – Durban being a prime example of the possibility – but also where utility scale sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant could be erected on a sale large enough to make an impact (bigger than package plant). Technology evolution is now pushing the cost down to a point where it can realistically complete cost-wise with water currently supplied from dams. This fact will become evident in any credible cost-benefit analysis made publicly available.

The emergence of this model will be characterised by the ability of the private sector partners to withstand the onslaught from the gatekeepers in the SOE Model, most of whom feel threatened by the potential loss of control over patronage flows. This will be contested terrain and some corporations might shy away. As a result, this Beneficiation Model will only succeed where it can make a clear case to the broader society about the benefits inherent to their approach. To succeed it therefore needs an Independent Water Regulator (IWR), so the battle space will be manifest in the debates underpinning that process currently underway – those opposing the IWR also probably being those that directly benefit from the SOE Model.

The preferred instrument of the elites in this model will thus be a publicly available Cost-Benefit Analysis that enables different models to be evaluated, along with different technological configurations, to achieve the biggest nett benefit to society. This will be a central element to the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) that is needed to raise private capital from any credible financier.

These are the two models that I see playing out over the next year. Some variations are likely to arise, but at the core this is the way I see things panning out over the next year.

At their heart is the issue of poverty. The SOE Model will claim that poor people must be given free services funded by the taxpayer. The Beneficiation Model will be predicated on the dual assumption that in order to achieve the taxes needed to sustain social grants, a healthy economy will be needed. Furthermore, it contends that the best way to eradicate poverty is to give poor people jobs at a fair wage that enables them to pay for services provided by the state. At heart this will be an ideological debate about the role of the state and its relationship with the private sector.  Water will either remain a constraint, or become an enabler, in a binary outcome.

CLOSE ACCORDION

The contest will be intense because it’s about the future of our economic well-being.

I hope that my analysis has enabled the public to make savvy decisions about the use of their taxes in future. We need an active and engaged citizenry to overcome our structural constraints. Let’s have an open and honest debate about the merits of each model.

Dr. Anthony Turton

Down the Road to Perdition

or

Transition from SOE to Beneficiation

The Last Hope of a Community in Despair…

What Happened to The Dream?

With decades of neglect and mismanagement that led to catastrophic failures in roads, sewage (with many hundreds of thousands of litres of raw sewerage flowing into the Vaal River daily),  and electrical infrastructure (with substations now exploding at the rate of about one per month), hope has all but taken flight…

I had a dream… Martin Luther King, Jr.

What was once the hub of heavy engineering and industry in Africa, is now fast becoming a derelict remnant of that once bustling metropolis, struggling for survival, losing its thought leadership and intellectual capital in droves. Resentment and contempt are caught in a doom-loop that threatens to erupt in civil unrest.

Take a look at some of the horror stories published by the Emefuleni Ratepayers’ Association NPC (ERPA), but there are much more that boggles the mind…

Rekindling Hope

The only way to restore hope is to paint a picture of the future in such clear, unambiguous and positive terms that not only will the constituency believe it, the whole world will. Give the people something to believe in and they will change the world. But herein lies our challenge… The operative word is ‘people’! No distinction between culture, creed or political views!

We have now reached a point where the playing field between our citizenry has been leveled such that has never been experienced before, but it is at the precipice of tipping over into anarchy.

Act now – There is no time to waste. It is time to bury the hatchet and to take hands in rekindling the dream that was once a thriving community. The time is now for Thought Leadership to come together, public and private, to create an unstoppable movement for positive change that will reverberate throughout South Africa, stirring up a hope that will rejoice in uniting her people, and a testimony that it is possible to achieve harmony and constructive progress in Africa!

Then – 2016 and Before

Video courtesy AV Productions

Video courtesy Dirk Grobler

These two videos were shot in 2016, but the picture now looks a bit different, with raw sewage flowing into the river, dead fish everywhere and foul smells abound…

Now – 2019

Total collapse of strategic municipal assets and infrastructure coming home to roost due to decades of neglect.

Many hundreds of thousands of litres of raw sewerage flowing into the Vaal river daily.

Electrical substation exploding in spectacular fashion at the rate of one per month

However, we are still sitting on a goldmine that needs to be rediscovered! Let’s focus on what it will look like in a couple of years, given the right support and custodianship…

 

Giving Shape and Structure to the Dream

Achieving this gargantuan calling requires a 3-part strategy that will be able to withstand the test of time through extreme prejudice and severe challenge:

The 3-Part Strategy for Change

In order to ensure success, the strategy has to be holistic, realistic and global; we cannot do it on our own… It must have the following three components;

1 - Philosophy of Hope: UMPC

Unstoppable Movement for Positive Change

A theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior, that will unite people in the peaceful pursuit of a common vision…

We need a vision for a better world – one filled with hope rather than alarmism – so that different entities can each do their own thing but align with the philosophy.

  • Unstoppable – A tsunami so powerful that Government must listen.
  • Movement – Alignment with a movement. A movement is bigger than an individual because it represents an idea for a better future. Being part of a movement protects front-line activists from being targeted by vested interests that resist change. A movement has no single leader, just many entities each aligned but focusing on the core issue that is important to them.
  • Positive – People respond well to an inspirational vision, so the foundation is about healthy lifestyles that cut across all traditionally divisive messaging found in politics.
  • Change – Reject the status quo as being a road to disaster and demand change for the better. But change within the framework of the law. The law must be applied without fear or favor, rejecting vigilantism that seeks to enforce the law. Simply put: Government must govern properly so that the citizenry doesn’t demand regime change, just a change in attitude.

Dr Anthony Turton

2 - Structure: UMCA

United Movement for Constitutional Accountability

A philosophy without structure is like driving a car in the dark without lights…

  • United – Formation of an effective, constructive and productive partnership between the public- and private sectors, seeking to build, renovate and rehabilitate, rather than to remain vexed in the current quagmire of corruption, mismanagement and finger-pointing.
  • Movement – Alignment with a movement. A movement is bigger than an individual because it represents an idea for a better future. Being part of a movement protects front-line activists from being targeted by vested interests that resist change. A movement has no single leader, just many entities each aligned but focusing on the core issue that is important to them.
  • Constitutional – In no uncertain terms, this coalition is vested firmly in the Constitution of South Africa.
  • Accountability – With a clear mission to replace a culture of corruption, mismanagement and maladministration with transparency and accountability at all levels within both private- and public sectors.
    • It forms the basis for the coalition of entities that are facing similar challenges.
    • It creates an effective framework to unite the multitudes of business and community initiatives, to reverse the downward spiral into chaos, destruction and civil unrest.
3 - Agents of Change: SPVs

Special Purpose Vehilces

Leaders are like eagles… they don’t flock. You’ll find them one at a time. Knute Rockne

At ground-level, create the operational capacity that will give effect to the change envisioned for achieving the mission.

Create a non-profit organisation to serve as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) between the public- and private sectors, with the sole purpose to repair, rehabilitate and restore the community to its former glory, and to give effect to the dreams and goals we all aspire towards.

The first SPV is Emfuleni for Change (EfC), wrapped around an ICT web-architecture that will pro-actively support the rapid deployment of similar entities throughout South Africa, and the world.

CLOSE ACCORDION

Part 1 – UMPC

The Philosophy

Part 2 – UMCA

The Structure

Part 3 – Change

The SPVs

Visualize the Enterprise

Visualization of this 3-Part Strategy for Change is essential to understand how the individual components will uniquely and collectively play its role in the ‘big picture’:

A picture is worth a thousand words. Frederic R. Barnard

Are you in the same Boat?

Create Your own SPV Now!

This EfC Model is replicable; this whole website can be cloned in under 10 seconds, and within a fraction of the time it would take you to reinvent this wheel, you can have your own SPV, with your own corporate branding and custom content up and running. The URL of your very own SPV could look like this:

https://???.umca.co.za (where ??? denotes the short name of your NPC)

So, if you need positive change in your community, let us help you to join the 3-Part Strategy for Change, and in so doing we will pool resources and coordinate effort, rather than wasting time by duplicating cost and effort. It just makes sense...

Get in touch, we will get you going fast!

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