Regulation 17 from the Water Services Act 108 (1997) is currently being implemented for the classification of wastewater treatment facilities and process controllers in South Africa. Green Drop Assessments (an incentive-based programme for wastewater treatment works) place a large focus on Regulation 17 compliance, which replaces Regulation 2834. Over the years, a lack of enforcement of Regulation 2834 has resulted in the incorrect appointment of staff. Many municipalities are therefore struggling to meet the Regulation, which requires appointment of the correct skill level staff to corresponding treatment facilities. The purpose of this paper is to identify the common problems experienced by municipalities, more specifically by the eThekwini Metro Municipality, and to identify possible solutions for closing the gaps. The four key problem areas identified were: imbalanced staff allocation, lack of education amongst staff, lack of experience amongst staff and the need for grandparenting assessments. The solution began with the correct classification of plants and staff, and included education drives and training programmes in addition to staff reallocation methods. These initiatives form part of both a short-term gap-closing strategy and a broader long-term sustainable plan for compliance with Regulation 17, enhanced process control at a plant level and ultimately the acquisition of Greens Drops, as part of the Green Drop Assessments.

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