At the recently held Annual General Meeting of the Small Wastewater Treatment Works Suppliers Association (SEWPACKSA), past Chairman Karl Juncker highlighted the significant accomplishments of the association since its inception in 2010.

Juncker said that the Association’s membership is representative of the majority of the suppliers in the industry. The Executive Committee also comprises the main role players in the industry. “One of the most significant achievements of SEWPACKSA since its inception is the Constitution that was created by Advocate Este Becker. The document has a strong legal standing and is a very important strategic document for SEWPACKSA. The Association is also representative of a communal voice that consists of suppliers and other representatives standing together. These aspects give SEWPACKSA a lot of credibility. Members of SEWPACKSA are required to sign and agree to the Code of Conduct and are thus committed to deliver products and services of a certain standard and quality” said Juncker.

Newly elected Chairman, Mark Ross is a well-known person in the package plant industry. Speaking at the AGM Ross said: With the immense effort and dedication that the founding EXCO members put into the establishment of SEWPACKSA, the resultant sound foundation and visionary way forward should be a ‘must join’ message for all associated with the industry, no matter how far removed a particular potential member may feel.  The industry has been historically fragmented, witheach supplier operating in isolation and thus lone voices in the multiple authority driven mine-field of conflicting legislation and guidelines.  A cohesive ‘single’ approach is in fact welcomed by such authorities.  SEWPACKSA is also formulating sound industry standards and will be available to assist suppliers that may fall short of such standards, on a mentoring basis.

SEWPACKSA EXCO members

The new EXCO is made up of a varied but vast industry discipline mix.  The combination of treatment process, engineering, knowledge of legislation, all underpinned by collective sound business principles, is a winning basket of attributes that will take the association forward to achieve the current desired outcomes.

SEWPACKSA EXCO for 2012/2013

Mark Ross                           Chairman

Stewart Buchanan           Vice Chairman

Ian Wright                           Other (Treasurer)

Gary Brown                        Other (Technical)

David Light                          Other (Secretary & Liaison)

Paul Gaydon                      Other (Legislation)

SEWPACKSA’s Strategic Goals

Ross provides an insight into the overall objectives of SEWPACKSA’s Strategic Plan that was announced at the AGM. “The finalisation and implementation of theMatrix of Minimum Deliverables is an integral part of the plan. While the Matrix of Minimum Deliverables has already been finely tuned, it is by nature a moving picture, with continual changes to legislation, circumstances and thought processes, so it will consequently remain a working document that will mutate on an on-going basis” said Ross.

SEWPACKSA has this year introduced a policy and procedure for handling of complaints regarding member compliance to SEWPACKSA standards of quality. Ross says the complaints procedure and enforcement of standards may sound a tad draconian, however this is more of a negotiated directive tool for the betterment of the broader industry.  The interaction between suppliers and end-users is to be encouraged and it is not inconceivable that such end-users, who operate their own treatment plants, could be considered potential members, as plant operators.

The alignment (both technical and administratively) and establishmentof a formal working relationship between the Suppliers (SEWPACKSA) and the industry stakeholders is possibly the most important goal of SEWPACKSA, to have a sound common front within the industry and to be the negotiating voice heard by all stakeholders.

One of the Association’s areas of focus is the continual promotion and development of SEWPACKSA amongst the members and throughout the industry, as well as pursuing increased support from Clients, Consultants, Engineers, Institutes and Associations. Ross says the broader the industry mix,the more influential and successful SEWPACKSA shall become in achieving its desired outcomes. “This inclusive approach will result in all parties participating in debate and decisionmaking.  Promoting the association, at all levels of industry interest is thus imperative” says Ross.

The development of further input and involvement of members, which will include the training of requirements, assistance to meet standards / process regulation, interaction and monitoringareother important goals. “These endeavours are to be one of the successful outcomes. The current EXCO cannot function in isolation to the membership and extended stakeholders.  With sound management of the association, all the desired outcomes will be achieved and expanded on over time” reiterates Ross.

SEWPACKSA and WISA 

Commenting on the importance of the relationship between SEWPACKSA and the Water Institute of Southern Africa’s (WISA) Small Wastewater Treatment Works Division (SWWTW), Ross says “Fortuitously there is a cross pollination of committee members on both the SEWPACKSA EXCO and the WISA SWWTW Division, thus a very close working relationship exists.  The blue prints of both organisations, while having many very close overlapping aspirations, are complemented by the strengths that each brings to the table”.

As SEWPACKSA continues to grow and set the high standards for the industry, this is an association that is undoubtedly setting the trends in the wastewater treatment industry.

About SEWPACKSA

The main objective of SEWPACKSA is:

  • To provide a unified non-governmental representative body of suppliers of package plants in the Republic to create a sustainable and self-regulated industry.
  • To create a sustainable, self-regulated package plant industry that can treat wastewater onsite in remote areas, or where authorities do not provide sewer connections, or where additional capacity to the wastewater treatment facilities of various government bodies is required, whilst complying with legislative requirements for discharged water quality.
  • To enable the supply of compliant package plants and management services of such package plants on the basis of best corporate governance practice and a code of ethics as adopted by the Association.