Water sector desk

GreenCape’s work in this space

GreenCape’s Water Sector Desk serves as a platform for the industry to access relevant information, source assistance in overcoming barriers, and connect to other stakeholders. This facilitation and networking role aims to improve the outcomes for green businesses working in the water sector, thereby increasing the availability and quality of water for all users in the Western Cape. 

For questions or queries, or to access GreenCape’s services contact our Water Sector Desk: water@greencape.co.za

Market intelligence

GreenCape's Water Sector Market Intelligence Report highlights business opportunities for water in the green economy in the Western Cape. It targets investors and entrepreneurs interested in the business of water, and seeks to promote the Western Cape as the leading place to do business in the green economy.

Opportunities: fast facts

Based on population and economic growth projections, South Africa could have a 17% gap between supply and demand by 2030. Not all areas will be equally affected, with severe shortages expected in key industrial areas, e.g. Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape. In the Berg River management area (which includes Cape Town), the future water supply deficit is projected to cost the region more than R146 billion and almost 650 000 jobs per year by 2040 if no new water resources are developed. Overcoming water scarcity is clearly a major challenge in South Africa. At the same time, it represents substantial opportunities for investors and businesses in the water sector, as summarised below.


Market size indicators

Main opportunities

Key market segments

Industrial & commercial
  • R14bn on municipal water and sanitation services in SA (2018).
  • Metering & monitoring
  • Water efficient technologies
  • Reuse and alternative water treatment systems
  • Brine management solutions
  • SA industrial market: food & beverages sector gross fixed capital formation ~R14bn by 2021
  • 7.4m households collectively spent R22bn on municipal water & sanitation services in SA (2018)
  • Water efficient devices
  • Alternative water systems
  • 3.5m households in SA earning >R200k p.a.
New developments
  • R2.1bn spent on wet services (2018).
  • No. of green buildings certified increased from 4 (2010) to ~100 (2018)
  • Metering & monitoring
  • Water efficient technologies
  • Reuse and alternative water treatment systems
  • City of Cape Town, Tshwane and Johannesburg: ~50% of the private sector market

SA’s largest water market:

  • R30bn p.a. water & sanitation infrastructure budget (2017)
  • Further R17bn p.a. needed
  • Water augmentation (e.g. wastewater reuse & desalination)
  • Non-revenue water reduction (R6.3bn p.a. in lost revenue in SA)

Metros and large municipalities, e.g.:

  • Cape Town’s R5.8bn (417 MLD) new augmentation programme
  • eThekwini’s planned 385 MLD reuse and desalination PPPs


News and events

Municipal Grading Map

Municipal Grading Map:  The Municipal Grade indicates the ability of a particular municipality to implement energy efficiency projects at wastewater treatment works. Read more

Map: Maximum Groundwater Abstraction Rates

Maximum Groundwater Abstraction Rates (2016). To access an interactive version of the map below, click here. Read more


Resilience Case Study: Innovations for Water Resilience Competition: Using systemic shocks to drive economic innovation, collaboration and climate adaptation in Cape Town, South Africa.

GreenCape, in conjunction with the City of Cape Town and 100 Resilient Cities, has published a series of case studies showcasing practical examples of resilience in action in Cape Town. Read more

Groundwater Application Process

During 2018 and the first half of 2019 GreenCape undertook to map the groundwater application process. Read more