THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NAMWATER
The Namibia Water Corporation Ltd. (NamWater) was officially registered as a company on 9 December 1997. Its Head Office is situated at 176, Iscor Street, Northern Industrial Area, Windhoek. The company has offices and water schemes in all the 14 political Regions of the country. NamWater is a commercialized water entity and is not privatized. The Government of the Republic of Namibia is the sole shareholder, represented by a Board of Directors. The board ensures that NamWater utilizes the scarce water resources in the best interests of Namibia and the Namibian People.
The Water Utility supplies water in bulk to Industries, Government Institutions, Municipalities, Local Authorities, Commercial Entities such as Mines and to the Directorate of water supply and sanitation in the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry. The Directorate in turn supplies water to the rural communities. The company strives to recover the full cost of water supply and is committed to providing its customers with a reliable source of quality water at the affordable rates. In terms of article 100 of the Namibian Constitution, land, water and natural resources belong to the State. The custody of these resources lies with Government and the responsibilities for the overall management of the national water resources cannot be divorced from the Government. With the incorporation of NamWater, Government will not lose control over the water sector.
We shall provide quality water and related services to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, taking cognizance of the environment, scarcity of and dependency of all on water.
CORPORATE STRATEGIC GOALS
- Financial Excellence
- Human Resources and Leadership Excellence
- Customer and Stakeholder Excellence
- Internal Business Processes excellence
Water For all, Forever!
- We serve NamWater’s interest first
- We are performance driven
- We build on our synergy
- We embrace diversity
- We are accountable
- We are different
- We are discipline
THE 5 YEARS BUSINESS PLAN
Since its inception, NamWater has not performed well financially due to a number of factors, of which non-payment for water services rendered constituted the biggest portion.
This unhealthy state of affairs prompted the then new CEO, Dr. Vaino Shivute, appointed in December 2002, to initiate a new business plan in order to improve the financial performances of the company, i.e. by cutting costs, improve efficiency and expand the revenue base of the company. This known as phase 1 of NamWater turn-around strategy.
The Atushe concept was introduced as a new vehicle for the new business philosophy to implement the new Business Plan. The Atushe plan aimed at turning around the financial and also the environmental challenges facing the water utility. After conducting environmental, internal and external analyses, the new business plan, from 2004 - 2008 was finally launched.
The five-year business plan aims at ensuring that the corporation has the necessary expertise in place and a conducive working environment to carry out the business of providing water to its customers successfully.
The then new exercise has been fruitful. The business plan managed to turn around negative growth and the company stopped borrowing money to pay salaries. NamWater was well on its way to reach its declared goals of reaching financial excellence, customer service excellence, people and learning excellence and internal business processes excellence.
After the company achieved its goals, phase 2 of NamWater turn-around strategy was initiated and started from 2009-2014. The aim of the second turn-around strategy was to attain financial stability, to invest and to consolidate the company’s achievements. This strategy achieved its desired goals as well and the company was well on its feet having consolidated its achievements over the past eight years. NamWater was financially stable and had a good standing as a going concern
However, management did not want to be complacent with the achievements made over the past 8 years. After proper consultation with internal and external stakeholders, NamWater decided it was time to move the company from good to great. A number of strategic issues were identified. These were;
- Security of Water Supply
- Affordability of Water
- Efficient Operations
- Stellar Customer Services
- Financial Health
- People Centred
- Risk Readiness
A new business plan was thus developed to attain the above mentioned strategic issues and this ushered into the 3rd phase of NamWater turn-around strategy. The planning for the new strategic phase was commenced in April 2015. Currently, NamWater has completed crafting the new strategic plan (2019-2023) and its plans are under way for implementation.
OPERATIONS OF THE COMPANY
The new Business Plan (2019-2023) has introduced a number of significant structural changes to NamWater. The most significant structural changes are the introduction of a matrix system, which created the positions of Chiefs, Heads and Managers. The significant change was the demarcation of NamWater into Five Business Units. These are;
- Business Unit North-West
- Business Unit North-East
- Business Unit South
- Business Unit Central
- Business Unit Coastal
Each of this Business Unit is now headed by a Chief Water Supply instead of a General Manager, who had overall responsible for water supply in Namibia. Each Chief resides in his or her Business Unit. Operations are de-centralized to each Business Unit.
Furthermore, other Chiefs include;
- Chief Strategy and Business Development
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Retail Business
In addition, most of the divisions will now be supervised by a Head. They are:
- Head Customer Services
- Head Enterprise Asset Management (Maintenance)
- Head M & E & E Engineering
- Head Applied Scientific Services
- Head Planning and Water Resources Management
- Head Civil Engineering
- Head Program Management
- Head Research and Development
- Head Information and Communication Technology
- Head SAP
- Head Employees Services
- Head HR Development
- Head Auxiliary Services
- Head Supply Chain Management
- Head Financial Planning and Treasury
- Head Management Accounting
- Head Financial Accounting
All these divisions constitute delivery support services
At inception in 1998, NamWater had a permanent staff compliment of 938 employees (97 females and 841 males) as shown in figure 2 below. In 2018, 20 years later, the Water Utility delivered its services with only a permanent staff compliment of 594 employees (157 females and 437 males). These employees remain committed to the challenging tasks of managing offices, infrastructure resources and the overall objective of providing safe water to the nation. NamWater looks well after its employees.
The employees possess a vast fund of competencies and the requisite attitude necessary for supplying quality bulk water in sustainable quantities. The Atushe (all of Us) philosophy creates synergy and promotes teamwork necessary for realizing our corporate strategic goals. NamWater uses the Balanced Scorecard tool to implement strategy. Positive employee performance is recognized and rewarded appropriately.
The primary objective of NamWater is to supply water in bulk to bulk customers. These bulk customers are:
- Commercial entities such as mines
- Government institutions
- Regional Councils
- Town Councils
- Village Councils
Although this is the primary objective of the operations of NamWater, the Water Utility has been supplying water to individual customers and to rural communities. NamWater supplies 100 million m3 of water annually to Namibia with the following customers being the biggest consumers;
ANNUAL CONSUMPTION BY NAMWATER BIGGEST CUSTOMERS
|Biggest Customers||Annual Consumption in m3|
|Mines||13 138 186|
|City of Windhoek||10 407 942|
|Walvis Bay||6 512 500|
|Swakopmund||4 673 272|
|Ongwediva||1 246 519|
|Namibia||Treated||81 905 196|
|Irrigation||56 038 971|
COST OF SUPPLYING WATER
NamWater is operated on a cost recovery basis; therefore the Water Utility has to recover money spent in the process of supplying water and the construction of new water infrastructure or schemes and the further maintenance of the same.
The process of supplying water is a costly exercise. NamWater infrastructure which consists of dams, reservoirs, water pipes, purification plants etc., is not only expensive to build but also to maintain. Laying a water pipeline for a kilometer can easily cost N$ 5 million. One of the biggest challenges facing the Water Utility is in fact that many of our people do not live where water is found. This means that NamWater has to construct and lay down pipelines covering long distances in order to take water to where people live.
The transportation of this water to remote areas of our country which are often inaccessible requires electricity, which is one of the highest cost factors on the company expenses. The tariffs increment, which the company is granted by the Cabinet of the Republic of Namibia, does not always cover the true costs of the water supply, so often the company strives hard to manage with the little resources it gets in order to keep the water flowing and at the same time also to maintain the aging infrastructure. Considering all of the said, it is a remarkable achievement that the average NamWater water tariff is circa 1.5 c per liter, which is about 1000 times cheaper than the similar bottled product in the market place.
CAPITAL PROJECTS OVER THE YEARS
|Project Name||Cost||Project Description||Status|
|Von Bach - Windhoek
|N$ 192 Mil||New pump station between Whk and Von Bach that
increase transfer capacity
|Divundu New Scheme||N$ 25 Mil||New Water Scheme||Completed|
|Swakopmund - Mile 7
Water Supply Phase 2
|N$ 25 Mil||The pipeline link enabling Walvis Bay to be supplied
|N$ 14 Mil||Water treatment plant, a clear water pump station
and sludge ponds
|Omdel - Swakopmund
|N$ 454 Mil||The replacement of Omdel-Swakopmund pipeline from
Areva Desalination plant
|Berg Aukas Mine
|N$ 6.8 Mil||New equipment being commissioned||Completed|
|Rietfontein - Talismanis
Extension & upgrade
|N$ 2.3 Mil||Extension and upgrade||Completed|
|Erwee Phase 2||N$ 1.6 Mil||Consists of a section of pipeline that was replaced||Completed|
|Project Name||Cost||Project Description||Length in km||Capacity in m3/h||Commissioning|
|Berg Aukas Grootfountein Scheme||Transfer of good water from berg Aukas Mine in the Grootfontein District to the Eastern national Water carrier to be supplied to the Central Areas of Namibia during Periods of water shortage||18||720||1998|
|Dreigratsdrift - Skorpion Mine Scheme||Supply of portable water to the Skorpion Mine and Rosh Pinah town||42||870||2002|
|Koichab Pan-Luderitz Scheme||Potable water supply from Koichab Aquifer to Luderitz||120||200||2002|
|Swakopmund - Langer Heinrich Scheme||Potable water supply from Langer Heinrich Mine||82||205||2006|
|Swakoppoort - Von Bach Scheme||Transfer of raw water from Swakoppoort Dam to Von Bach Dam to supply Windhoek area, with reverse gravity flow option from Von Bach Dam to Swakoppoort Dam||54||1 450||1979/2004|
If one looks at Namibia landscape at independence, the percentage of access to potable water was between 43% to 45%. According to 2011 census this number has changed drastically. Above 60% of people in Rural Namibia have access to potable water while in urban area it is 98%. It took efforts to achieve these levels in order to fulfil the company’s mandate. On average 85% of the population in Namibia have access to clean water.
NamWater supplies water to the whole country in 14 Regions, urban and rural. Our people should appreciate the process of supplying water to them. Water flows because of resources invested in it and a dedicated team that plans and coordinates the implementation of the water supply process. NamWater often experiences complaints about the cost of water. What people have to realize is the fact that Namibia is a semi-arid country and water is not always available. Often, people settle where water sources are not available, so NamWater has to put up water pipes to transport water to where people live and pump the water to where the people are. The investment in water infrastructure and the cost of transporting water contribute significantly to the price that the Water Utility charges to the customers. Another factor is the economy of scale. Namibia is sparsely populated to such an extent that the numbers that contribute towards the economies of scale are just not there. Thus, unit costs are always high due to the small population. However, the NamWater Act makes provision for the shareholder to come on board and subsidize water for those who cannot afford it and this issue has already been discussed at Cabinet level. Another achievement lies in the quality of the water that NamWater supplies to the people. The quality of our water compares well with global standards. In Namibia one can drink water directly from the tap. This is not the case with many countries around the world.
Access to potable water:
- Urban 98%
- Rural 94%
Access to sanitation:
- National 34%
- 94% access to potable water in rural areas
- 98% for urban areas
- Financial sustainability of NamWater
- Investment in training
- Expansion of HRDC
As a company, NamWater has the responsibility towards the society under which it serves. The company attaches great value to training. The Government has prioritized vocational training because countries are developed by people with practical skills from Vocational Training Institutions. For this reason, NamWater has a training centre in Okahandja known as Human Resources Development Centre (HRDC). Government provides funds through the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) to build up skills for the economy. Young people are being enrolled every year at the HRDC to receive training in different trades such as water artisans, mechanics, electricians and many other skills that are needed in our economy. Thus, the company takes pride in training for the nation. We invite young people all over the country to look out for enrollment advertisements every year.
BURSARIES AND JOB ATTACHMENTS
Every year NamWater finances students to study at tertiary institutions in Namibia and the SADEC Region. Bursaries are awarded in fields such as Engineering, Finances, Human Resources etc. The graduants return to NamWater every holiday to gain work experience and upon graduation the company involves them in an in-serve training program for 2 to 3 years. When the trainee students complete this program, they can take up job offers in the company or look for other opportunities in the Namibian economy. The company also offer opportunities to students who are trained by other companies so that they gain work experience or to enable such students to complete their studies.
NamWater recruits young professionals through the bursary program. They are developed, groomed and coached into professionals who will add value to the operations of Namibia in General and NamWater in particular. Since NamWater inception, the company has successfully offered a total of 108 bursaries to students who pursued their studies in various fields. In 2018, NamWater has 13 students under the NamWater bursary scheme. The pie below reflects the number and various fields of studies undertaken by NamWater young professionals:
NamWater has spent a total of sixteen million three hundred eleven thousand nine hundred eighty-eight (N$16,311,988) since the inception of the program.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
NamWater also invests in vocational training and development. The Water Utility has its own training centre called Human Resources Training Centre (HRDC) located at the S Von Bach premises, 15 km outside Okahandja town. HRDC is a National Vocational Training Centre, which is registered with the Ministry of Education. It focuses on formal vocational training and vocational skills upgrading as well as short courses on information technology and general management.
The HRDC provides vocational training towards artisanship in the following trades:
- Water Care
- Treatment Plumbing
- Pipe Fitting Auto
- Diesel Mechanic
- General Carpentry
- Joinery Operator
- Office Administration
- Heavy duty and plant operator
- Other Various Short Courses
Admission is normally done on the first Monday of February of each year. A candidate for any certificate towards artisanship should be in possession of at least:
- A Grade 12 or 10 certificate with passes in Math & Science
- Pass an aptitude test for the particular trade
- Has a sponsor who will finance his/her studies (apply for a grant)
HRDC also caters for the training needs of NamWater and other employers. Employers who want their employees trained to qualify as artisans or to attend short courses an any areas mentioned above should simply contact NamWater at the contacts given.
APPLICATION FORMS INTAKE FOR 2019
Application forms for enrollment can be downloaded on NamWater Website.
LODGING AND MEALS
The HRDC provides accommodation to vocational trainees against payment. An independent caterer provides meals to the trainees against payment too. Arrangements for meals are strictly between the caterer and the trainees.
BURSARIES AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING ENQUIRIES
Any enquiries regarding bursaries or vocational training can be directed to NamWater’s Corporate Communication Division in Windhoek. The number is 00264 61 71 00 00
MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP TRAINING
NamWater understands that the Water Utility needs capable managers who are able to supervise employees to accomplish company goals and leaders who are able to influence, motivate and enable the same employees to contribute towards organisational success. For this purpose, the Water Utility has an ongoing training program at the University of Cape Town for its management team.