South Africa is a water-scarce country. By 2030, South Africa’s water demand is expected to exceed its water supply by up to 17 percent and the forecasted growth in the agri-processing sector will contribute to this widening gap between water supply and demand. South Africa’s agri-processing sector is a key driver for the economy as it contributes to value addition, job creation and exports. However, increasing water scarcity, combined with rising costs of energy and fuel, is threatening the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector.
IFC, in partnership with SECO and Agbiz, conducted a study on the opportunities, challenges and outlook of resource efficiency in South Africa’s agri-processing sector. The study identified the potential to save up to 30 million cubic meters of water per year, equivalent to 20 percent of the sector’s total water consumption, which will require an investment of $400 million. The study provides in-depth analysis on nine key sub-sectors and the policy framework on water use in agri-processing in South Africa.