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Israel is one of the driest countries in the world, yet the country does not experience recurring drought or water shortages. This can largely be ascribed to their expertise in water desalination and water utilisation. “This expertise in efficient water usage and purification will help to bring peace to the region, supplying our neighbours with water and working hand-in-hand for the greater good of the people and the environment,” said Arthur Lenk, Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mauritius. 

Ambassador Lenk visited the Faculty of Science, donating books, in what he termed a starting point for conversations, research agreements and conclude scientific partnerships in water research.

“A core responsibility of our embassy is to connect to the conversations and discussions here in South Africa. I listened carefully (and quickly asked a colleague to translate for me) the honest words, in Zulu, of President Jacob Zuma at the state of the nation address in early February, which was translated as follows:  “The drought that is currently affecting most of our provinces is really devastating. Livestock is dying and as a result, the agricultural sector is going through a difficult period."

As a direct consequence of the President’s address, and the drought facing South Africa, the embassy invited and hosted a number of Israel’s most respected water experts, who made presentations on their own challenges and experiences. In June, 15 of Israel’s most innovative water technology companies also visited SA to interact with decision makers in both the public and private sector, sharing some best practices and innovations that have been implemented successfully in Israel.

Upon conclusion of the Conference, Ambassador Lenk undertook to distribute copies of the world renowned book “Let there be water”,  authored by Seth Siegel, to Universities as a way of opening up communication as well as research and partnership channels between scholars and scientists of the two countries. 

“Let there be water is an in-depth study on how Israel has combined technological innovation with conservation to achieve a water surplus at home and become a world leader in water management. It is in absolute pleasure for me to share this knowledge with the TUT community and I hope this is the first step in creating a mutual, respectful working relationship to the benefit of everyone in the world facing water scarcity and severe drought,” Ambassador Lenk concluded.


Front: Ambassador Arthur Lenk seated in the middle with Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science,
Prof Prince Ngobeni, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, Prof Stanley Mukhola and Head of Library
– Science Campus, Marlene Tribelhorn.
Back: Associate Dean: Teaching and Learning, Dr Ingrid Mokgobu, Head of Department: Chemistry,
Prof Ntebogeng Mokgalaka, Assistant Dean: Postgraduate Studies, Research and Innovation,
Prof Keolebogile Shirley Motaung, Head of Department: Environmental, Water and Earth Sciences,
Dr Lizzy Monyatsi and Director: Library and Information Services, Vivian Agyei.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an e-mail to deruyterw@tut.ac.za.