The municipality said that city manager Musa Mbhele, who is in Beijing received the symbolic baton from the president of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), Li Yuanyuan and the Minister of Water Resources in Beijing, Li Guoying.
Mbhele said this important event comes at a crucial time when the city and other parts of the country face substantial water challenges.
“We can confirm that the 2025 event in the city of Durban will be co-hosted with our partners in Sub-Saharan Africa and the African continent as a whole, reinforcing our commitment to finding regional solutions to water-related issues.”
Mbhele said that the South African delegation attending the conference includes representatives of the KwaZulu-Natal province and the city in support of the bid submitted by the Convention Bureau.
“The significance of hosting this international conference in Durban cannot be overstated. As the city grapples with pressing water issues, this event presents an exceptional opportunity to address and seek solutions to water-related challenges. It is an occasion to exchange knowledge, promote essential research, and leave a legacy for our citizens,”
The municipality said that Durban can anticipate a significant influx of global participation at the conference.
“The event is projected to attract over 3 000 distinguished delegates, with a warm welcome extended to more than 10 000 enthusiastic visitors. The conference promises to be a platform where over 90 exhibitors will showcase cutting-edge innovations in the field.”
The municipality said beyond its academic and scientific significance, the 19th World Water Conference is projected to have a profound economic impact on Durban and its surroundings and will inject millions of rand into the local economy.
South African Ambassador to China, His Excellency Dr Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele, also attended the event, emphasising the critical importance of water in socio-economic development.
“The Beijing Declaration signed at the conference, endorsed by the International Scientific Committee of the World Water Congress, underscores the significance of water as a key resource and the need for global cooperation in its sustainable development through scientific research and knowledge exchange.”
The municipality added that China, as the host of this year’s international water event, has pledged to take more practical steps toward water governance and to share its experiences and strategies with other nations.
“The selection of Durban as the host city for the 19th World Water Conference underlines its dedication to addressing water challenges, fostering global collaboration, and positioning itself as a leader in water resource management.”