South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech at the leaders summit of the COP27 climate conference in Egypt

South Africa will be participating in a high-level ministerial panel discussion at the sixth edition of the Cairo Water Week conference to discuss innovative solutions for the sustainable management of water resources.

David Mahlobo, who serves as the water and sanitation deputy minister, will attend the conference that focuses on fostering cross-sectoral cooperation. The conference, held from Sunday to Thursday under the theme "Action on Water Adaptation for Sustainability," will be attended by ministers, water experts, stakeholders, and academics from around the world.

The Department of Water and Sanitation disclosed on Sunday that through its diverse workshops, seminars, and knowledge exchanges, countries like South Africa are learning how to tackle issues such as water scarcity, climate change, and ecosystem resilience.

"Among the issues to be discussed are technologies of reclamation and desalination of water in the African region, which can increase freshwater supplies to areas that are experiencing decreased water supply and water quality," the department said, SA News reported.

It further shared that the current desalination inventory in South Africa is not as updated as other parts of the world like the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Australia, and the United States.

"There are about 33 plants that have been built over several years, with a combined capacity of not exceeding a total of 200 Ml/d to treat various types of wastewater, including seawater and mine water for mostly domestic consumption," it added.

The department further explained, "The plant capacities range from 1 kl/d to 47 Ml/d, but the vast majority are smaller than 10 Ml/d and were implemented as emergency drought response projects."

"Such plants are generally not deemed viable for continued operation when the drought breaks and conditions returned to normal. For comparison, some of the new schemes coming up in the MENA region are in the order of 600 Ml/day."

Mahlobo explained that South Africa needed to increase those projects that would help reuse, reclamation, and desalination of seawater.

South Africa and Egypt have had diplomatic relations for several years and both countries are members of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), which have given them platforms to interact on several global issues.

Previously, President Cyril Ramaphosa has highlighted the importance of green hydrogen and applauded the members of the African Green Hydrogen Alliance -- Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Ethiopia, and Angola -- for their collaboration.