Sun City ranks tops in South Africa for water management

Gary Player Sun City
Gary Player Sun City

Sun International’s Sun City Resort in the North West province continues on its path to excellence in water management. Becoming the first private institution in the tourism and hospitality sector in South Africa to be awarded Green Drop Status by the Department of Water Affairs in 2013, the resort recently conducted a self assessment ahead of the upcoming official audit by the Department of Water Affairs.

The results of the assessment show that Sun City has not only maintained the highest level of compliance with wastewater legislation and management, but has improved its rating. Sun City is now listed as the Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) with the lowest risk rating in the private sector, which is an improvement on its Cumulative Risk Rating (CRR) from 36.6 to 22.7. This is one of the best scores achieved in the country, including private sector and municipalities.

“Sun City was one of only 43 sites during the 2012/13 Green Drop assessment that received Green Drop status, which is the highest level of certification awarded by the Department of Water Affairs in recognition of excellence in waste water management processes. We are focused on maintaining this status and the results of the recent self assessment show that we are on track.

“The next audit is around the corner and we have a long and difficult task ahead of us. Criteria are more stringent, workloads are increasing, and we have goals to meet to ensure that we retain our Green Drop status,” Derek Turner, infrastructure manager at the Sun City Complex.

The Department of Water Affairs’ Blue/Green Drop certification programme aims to improve water quality provided by water and local authorities in South Africa. Water and local authority water providers and services are awarded with Blue and/or Green Drop Status if they comply with drinking water and wastewater legislation and the management thereof. This incentive-driven regulatory approach is a first in South Africa, and is internationally regarded as unique in the water regulatory domain.

The Blue Drop and Green Drop awards confirm that the qualifying towns’ drinking water quality and wastewater treatment are being managed according to excellent world-class standards. Blue Drop Status indicates that drinking water supplied is of excellent quality and safe for human consumption. The Green Drop incentive-based regulation system grants special acknowledgment for exceptional wastewater management.

Sun City’s Green Drop award certifies its compliance with good wastewater discharge standards meet the below criteria a minimum of 90% of the time:

• Operational Staff
• Wastewater Quality Monitoring
• Wastewater Sample Analysis
• Submission of Wastewater Quality Results
• Wastewater Quality Compliance
• Management of Wastewater Quality Failures
• Storm-water Management
• Bylaws
• Wastewater Treatment Capacity
• Publication of Wastewater Quality Performance
• Wastewater Asset Management

Sun City has over the years demonstrated a steadfast commitment to environmental sustainability and resource efficiency. In 2015 the resort was formally recognised with its successful achievement of ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 14001 certification. Sun City was certified by the (South African Bureau of Standards) SABS as an ISO 14001 company following a stringent audit process which scrutinized the environmental, waste and water management practices of the resort.

ISO is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards that stipulate world class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency.