JOHANNESBURG, The South African Department of Water and Sanitation says the inter-dependence between water, energy and food is critical to strengthen efforts to achieve the Southern African Development Community’s goals of industrialization and poverty eradication.

Opening the 8th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue in Boksburg, near here, Wednesday, the department’s International Water Support Deputy Director-General, Lindiwe Lusenga, said collaboration between these three sectors offered an opportunity to tackle the region’s developmental agenda.

The five-day dialogue, which began Tuesday, provides a platform for policymakers to develop strategies that are beneficial for regional value chains and job creation.

Lusenga said inter-dependence between the sectors would lead to the achievement of the SADC’s goals of peace, stability, regional integration, industrialization and poverty eradication.

The South African government views the three sectors as the backbone of the livelihood of our people at all levels and for socio-economic development of our country. It is important that proper planning for the development, utilization and management of these resources is prioritised and done in an integrated manner,” she added.

There’s a need for an array of things, including tourism, energy generation, irrigation, maintaining of the ecosystem’s integrity and mining activities. To supply water to various needs, energy is key to attain food security and water is required through irrigation, stock watering and agro-processing.

She told the delegates that it was important that the dialogue benefits women, youth and ordinary people by encouraging the industrial partners to be part of the water sector value chain.