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REVISON OF WQM POLICIES AND STRATEGIES FOR SOUTH AFRICA

STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

Given the importance of stakeholder inputs for the assessment of the status of the country’s water resources and the development and implementation of strategies and plans that aim to ensure that the water qualities of these resources meet the requirements of water users, it becomes imperative for the WQM process to engage with a large range of stakeholders

The Stakeholder Consultation and Communication Strategy therefore forms an integral part of the project execution and implementation targeting stakeholder engagement as an outcome. The aim of this report is to serve both as a strategic document and as a reference tool. As a strategic document, it sets the overall direction, objectives and scope of stakeholder consultation and communication strategy under the project. As a reference tool, it provides a general conceptual and operational framework for stakeholder consultation and communication, including the focal areas, strategic processes and steps that may be taken.

Moreover, this document is necessary given how important it is to be inclusive given the high national level focus on WQM. This is strategic in the sense that WQM impacts water resources as impacted by various sectors. To this end, in order to create ownership of this process and the attendant outcomes at various levels, it is essential that the project engages sufficiently and this document outlines how the project aims to achieve this.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

The purpose of the stakeholder consultation and communication strategy is to inform, consult, involve, collaborate and where possible empower the relevant key players in the IWQM project, by providing a strategic framework in order to:-

  • Engage in policy and strategy development processes of the key issues, priorities, guiding principles, and approaches regarding the WQM Policy and the IWQM Strategy. This might entail problem identification, definition and conceptualisation of WQM tools (policy and strategy) to address problems;
  • Enhance the product through inputs from stakeholders, through this contribution, the ultimate product will be greatly improved;
  • Ownership and buy-in of both the process and outcomes will ensure that stakeholders can relate and identify with the WQM policy and IWQM Strategy;
  • Implementation plan and facilitation: a key result under this objective is the implementation of the WQM Policy and IWQM Strategy. This will involve iterative process of learning-by-doing approach so that the implementation of the WQM Policy and Strategy can serve as both a refining process and a learning curve;
  • Capacity development and support through strategic collaborative efforts ensures that the necessary skills and capacities are shared between and among stakeholders;
  • Create awareness and enhance the level of understanding on issues about WQM Policy and WQM Strategy, in order to improve and strengthen active stakeholders participation in Water Quality Management (WQM);
  • Consider appropriate mechanisms for communication and publicising of WQM policy and strategy development.

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT TO SUPPORT PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

The stakeholder engagement will allow for a 3-phase approach to develop the final products associated with the policy, strategy and converting policy to practice.




It is the intention of the Department to also Gazette the WQM Policy for public comment.

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