The French government and the Western Cape Province are set to partner on a R8.6million project aimed at assisting the water stressed region.

Ministre d’État, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, M. Nicolas Hulot, and the Western Cape Government’s MEC for Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer, are set to announce the funding of the first solar powered desalination unit in South Africa next week.

The highly cost-effective solar powered desalination plant will be commissioned by the end of October 2018 at Witsand in the Hessequa Municipality, Western Cape.

In Hessequa, 250km east of Cape Town, several coastal villages suffer from a structural water deficit, even outside of drought periods. Part of Witsand village, suffering from critical water shortages, was designated for the implementation of this solar powered desalination unit.

The R8.6million grant from the French Treasury is aimed at implementing innovative green technologies.

A first for South Africa

The OSMOSUN® technology, which was developed French company Mascara Renewable Water and brought to South Africa by their local partner TWS-Turnkey Water Solutions, is the world’s first reverse osmosis desalination technology coupled with photovoltaic solar energy without batteries, designed to supply coastal or borehole-dependent communities, with drinking water at a competitive price and without CO2 emissions.

This technology will deliver 100kl of fresh water daily through an innovative, affordable and green process.