UTILITY SYSTEMS INTERVIEW: “The implementation of our solution has formed part of the City of Cape Town’s strategy to manage the recent water crisis”

1.    Can we start with some background on your career in real estate and property so far?
Our business background has been focused on the public sector, but we see a definite need to extend our offering to the commercial and residential markets.

2.    Any specific projects that you are involved in that you are particularly excited about?
We are involved in a number of projects in various parts of the world which impact water usage. Most pertinent at this time is the City of Cape Town: we have been deeply involved in assisting the City to manage the recent water crisis by providing a flow limitation solution to reduce household water consumption.

3.    Any success stories or case studies you can share?
We have more than 200,000 units deployed across the City of Cape Town.  The implementation of our solution has formed part of the City’s strategy to manage the recent water crisis.

4.    What is your vision for built infrastructure in South Africa?
Every water consumption point should be managed and monitored with the goal of reducing non-technical losses to under 20% by 2030. At the moment it is estimated that we lose about 38% of potable water in our systems which, aside for the massive cost, unnecessarily wastes our most valuable resource.

5.    What are the challenges?
Investment in infrastructure, reactive monitoring and maintenance.  We need to know where problems lie and when they occur so they can be addressed proactively.  We need to implement smart data systems to provide real-time feedback on infrastructure status from end to end and this will then pave the way for advanced data analysis.

6.    And the opportunities?
Water is, in my view, the most valuable resource we have.  The opportunity lies in managing it as such, understanding that we can live without other services (like electricity), but we cannot survive without water.

7.    What surprises you about this sector?
Seeing vast open veld being converted into urban areas within the space of a few years.

8.    At the upcoming African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit you are addressing the conference on Smart Water Management - can you give us a sneak preview of what your specific message will be at the event?
Water is our most precious commodity and we need to manage it as such.