Appointment: Head Water Partnership Office

21 August - The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) welcomes the recent appointment of Johann Lubbe as the Head of South Africa’s first Water Partnership Office (WPO). The appointment is effective 1 August 2023. The WPO is a programme of the Department of Water and Sanitation, a ringfenced national water and sanitation implementing office. It is established by DWS to deliver the National Water Programme (NWP) which seeks to accelerate water and sanitation infrastructure delivery across South Africa with the DBSA as the mandated implementing partner.

“This pivotal decision underscores the Department's unwavering dedication to addressing one of the world's most pressing challenges – ensuring access to clean and safe water for all, said DG Sean Phillips. The DWS remains resolute in its mission to appoint suitably qualified candidates in its strides towards a more water-secure future,” he added.

The WPO appointed an experienced professional with extensive and in-depth knowledge in the conceptualisation, design, structuring and fund-raising execution of the country’s first Water Programme. The NWP was approved by Cabinet to create innovative avenues for accelerated private sector participation in water and sanitation programmes.

Johann previously held the position of Disruption Specialist at the DBSA’s Project Preparation Unit. He has over 20 years’ experience in civil engineering, banking and innovation. He has served in multiple international platforms to mobilise international and local support for resources to address South Africa’s water crisis.

He holds a Civil Engineering Degree from the University of Pretoria, BCom (Law) Degree from the University of South Africa and a master’s degree in development finance Cum laude from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. His research project for his master’s degree was titled: “Project finance as a driver of economic growth in Africa.” Johann’s immediate focus will be to coordinate and align a government-wide response to SA’s water crisis initially at a municipal level, where climate-induced water insecurity has a debilitating effect on the lives of citizens.

“We are very pleased with Johann’s appointment and are confident that the transformation we seek in water safety and security as an enabler of economic development will be realised.  This programme, conceived and developed meticulously at the DBSA over several years, is testament of the skills and knowledge base at DBSA which sustains its institutional strength as a leading Development Finance institutions and market maker. The water crisis is dire, and we are committed to supporting Johann as he leads and collaborates with Private Public and Civil society to transform and scale security of the country’s water services capacity,” said Catherine Koffman, Group Executive Project Preparation at the DBSA.


About the Development Bank of Southern Africa

About the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) - The DBSA is a leading Development Finance Institution (DFI), wholly owned by the government of South Africa. Established in 1983, the DBSA is mandated to promote economic growth and regional integration by mobilising financial and other resources from national and international private and public sectors for sustainable development projects and programmes in South Africa, SADC, and the wider African continent.

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