Development Partnerships for a Sustainable Future

Project description

Title: Competence Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector (DPP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Africa
Partner: Individual companies and business organisations such as Festo Didactic GmbH & Co. KG, MTN, Nike, SABMiller, SAP AG, Sasol and chambers of commerce
Overall term: Since 2006

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South Africa has a two-tier society and a shortage of education and skills is hampering the country’s development. Partnerships between public and private sector projects and civil society are becoming more and more important. Private enterprises have a genuine interest in the future of the country, and the necessary means and know-how for initiating projects that take the country forward.


Representatives of the public and private sectors share knowledge, technical skills and specific competences to their mutual benefit.


The German Federal Government has recognised that the private sector has an important role to play in development. The Competence Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector which was launched in 2006 and has set up 23 development partnerships in South Africa, is testament to this approach. Partnerships focus on key areas of development cooperation: good governance, energy and climate and HIV and AIDS.

Festo Didactic and GIZ are cooperating on capacity building in South Africa’s water and wastewater sector. Together with the University of Stuttgart, they are developing and standardising training materials and modules, and drawing up train-the-trainer programmes so that expertise can be transferred to universities and colleges in a practice-oriented way.

A partnership with the South African telecommunications company MTN aims at reducing electronic waste (e-waste), recycling raw materials, and thus conserving resources. Collection points for e-waste are being set up in the municipalities. Small and medium-sized recycling enterprises are being networked to ensure a continuous flow of e-waste. These measures are flanked by awareness campaigns.

A development partnership with the South African chemical group Sasol is saving water in the municipality of Emfuleni to the south of Johannesburg. Up to three million cubic metres of water are lost every month due to leaks in the supply pipes. These losses are costly in both environmental and financial terms. The project’s work comprises repairs to public and household plumbing and the running of awareness campaigns.

Results achieved so far

Ten of the 23 partnerships with the private sector have been successfully concluded.

The workbooks developed by Festo Didactic and the hardware for the training modules have now been integrated into the curriculum for engineers and technicians.

GIZ has helped identify four recycling companies for e-waste in the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces. To date, MTN has supplied over 500 tonnes of e-waste to the accredited recycling firms. GIZ has documented examples in a book for small and medium-sized disposal companies.

The development partnership in Emfuleni has so far resulted in savings of six million cubic metres of water in Emfuleni. The number of households where water pipes are being repaired has been increased from 20,000 to 70,000.

Further Information