Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health with vaccines and other life-saving tools and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to significantly improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Pollution Research Group has received (6) grants under the foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene program, which focuses on the development of tools and technologies that can lead to radical and sustainable improvements in sanitation in the developing world. The Foundation’s top priority is sanitation, because this critical issue has oft been a neglected area that is ready for significant change.

The projects funded by the foundation include: The Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, Phases I and II;Valuation of Urine Nutrients in Africa (VUNA)Mechanical Properties of Faecal SludgeEconomic Evaluation of Faecal Sludge Disposal Routes. In addition, Pollution Research Group is a recipient of sub-grants under two other Gates Foundation Funded Projects: The Menstrual Management and Sanitation Systems Study (with University of Maryland) and New Concepts on on-site sanitation based on bio-additives and pit design (with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

BORDA (Bremen Overseas Research & Development Association) is a specialist organisation active in the fields of poverty alleviation, sustainable protection of natural resources and the strengthening of social structures. BORDA advises and facilitates projects in the sectors of decentralised sanitation, wastewater treatment, water and energy supply, and solid waste management in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with the mission of improving the living conditions of disadvantaged communities and ensuring the viability of the environment. The non-profit organisation specialises in the design and implementation of Decentralised Wastewater Treatment System (DEWATS) plants, over 1 500 of which have been implemented worldwide. BORDA received the prestigious International Water Association Development Solution Award in 2011 for their innovative design.

BORDA and The Pollution Research Group have been collaborating on sanitation projects since 2006, when the PRG was tasked by BORDA to direct its scientific activities on BORDA DEWATS worldwide. Over the years, BORDA and PRG have established a strong research partnership in which they jointly collaborate on research in the areas of water and sanitation delivery. Currently, BORDA and PRG are carrying out an investigation into the operation of a Decentrantralised Wastewater Treatment System (DEWATS) at the Newlands-Mashu plant; and the use of treated wastewater for agricultural purposes.

eThekwini Water and Sanitation is a unit of the eThekwini municipality and is responsible for the provision of water and sanitation services to all customers in the municipality. The core values of EWS are a customer focus, cost consciousness and a concern for the well-being of their staff.

EWS and PRG have collaborated on research and development projects for years, and are currently collaborating on several projects. Recently, EWS and PRG signed a Memorandum of Agreement by which EWS will provide funding, problems for investigation and access to data, facilities, and expertise. The PRG will undertake research and investigations into problems relating to water and sanitation delivery identified by the parties; provide students and interns subject to acceptance by EWS; supervise students involved in research projects; develop and provide short courses; and, provide access to international research and development linkages.

The Hering Group is a family owned construction company based in Burbach Germany. An international industry specialist, Hering develops products for areas of use by the public, ranging from architectural facades to construction and maintenance of rail/transit infrastructure. In the area of sanitation, Hering designs modular system solutions for public and semi-public areas which are adapted to their surroundings and offer the user optimum hygiene, while at the same time ensuring minimal maintenance costs for the operator. Hering collaborated with The Pollution Research Group and BORDA to construct pre-fab toilets for a school in a rural area of eThekwini municipality. 

ILLOVO SUGAR LIMITED is Africa’s largest sugar producer and a significant manufacturer of downstream products, with agricultural, manufacturing and other interests extending over SIX countries. We strive to be a moral performance-focused organisation. Illovo provides a bursary for one Master’s student for the study “Development of a model of the aerobic membrane bioreactor treating Illovo wastewater”. 

The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) has been promoting the interests and efforts of the South African pulp and paper industry since 1992. Representing more than 90% of paper manufacturers in South Africa, PAMSA provides a forum for the development and presentation of common views on pre-competitive industry issues, and engages stakeholders on matters of legislation, skills upliftment, education, research, environment, sustainability, and recycling. 

PAMSA is currently supporting the bursaries for several masters students, including studies on “Material Flow Analysis of the South African Paper and Pulp Sector”; “Mill Water Studies at a South African P&P Mill” ; and “Water Closure at a Sappi Mill". 

Sasol Limited is one of South Africa’s biggest integrated energy and chemical companies. Sasol develops and commercialises technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid fuels, chemicals and low-carbon electricity. Sasol supports bursaries for several masters students, including studies on The co-digestion of Fischer Tropsch Reaction Water (“FTRW”) and Stripped Gas Liquor (“SGL”); Integrated biochemical and ionic speciation model of anaerobic co-digestion of Sasol wastewater streams; and Anaerobic digestion of petrochemical waste. 

Umgeni Water, a state-owned entity, is one of Africa's most successful organisations involved in water management, and is the largest supplier of bulk potable water in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The organisation was established in 1974, and has grown over the years to supply 426 million cubic metres of potable water to six municipal customers, namely eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, Ilembe District Municipality, Sisonke District Municipality, Umgungundlovu District Municipality, Ugu District Municipality and Msunduzi Local Municipality. 

Umgeni Water funds research into chemical effluents in sludge, the development of a computer model for the Darvil Waste Water Treatment Works (link), and supports student research 

The Water Research Commission was established in 1971, as part of the Water Research Act (Act No 34 of 1971), after national recognition of the importance to generate new knowledge and to promote research on the country’s water resources. The WRC was formed to establish a research and development base for water research, and promote coordination, cooperation, communication and capacity development in this area. The WRC provides the country with applied knowledge and water-related innovation, by continuously translating needs into research ideas and, in turn, transferring research results and disseminating knowledge and new technology-based products and processes to end-users. 

The WRC supports several projects, including the Evaluation of DEWATS process (K5/2002); Water and Wastewater management in the soft drink industry (K5/2286); Characterisation of on-site sanitation material and products (K5/2137); and the Evaluation of forward osmosis technology for the treatment of concentrated brines (K5/2101)