South African Sanitation Technology Demonstration Programme (SASTEP) – Reinvented Toilet Technology Demonstration and Roadmap to Commercialization

2014 - 2018 • WRC, Water Research Commission


Testing the latest in cutting-edge sanitation solutions in order to assess and evaluate for feasibility of widespread use and commercialization in rural and peri-urban areas.


Testing the latest in cutting-edge sanitation solutions in order to assess and evaluate for feasibility of widespread use and commercialization. (BMGF-DST Partnership, focusing on BMGF grants previously funded under the RTTC scheme)

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) South Africa and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) recently announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – “Partnership in the Demonstration of Sanitation Solutions in Rural and Peri-Urban South Africa” at The Reinvent the Toilet Challenge Fair in Delhi, India. The MoU outlines the cooperation between the two organisations towards achieving sanitation delivery through the implementation / application of innovative sanitation solutions.

The DST has committed ZAR 30 million (~US$ 3.0 million) over two years to fund the implementation and field-testing of innovative sanitation technologies and approaches in South Africa. The technologies to be demonstrated were developed through the BMGF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH) programme, in particular, those from the BMGF’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. The BMFG WSH programme is contributing US$1 million to support the testing of technologies selected. The lessons learnt through the demonstration of these solutions will be shared with the global community.

The South African Water Research Commission (WRC) will serve as the implementing agent for the demonstration programme. Enquiries of interest are welcomed to potential BMGF grantees who feel that their technologies are ready for demonstration.

Countries of activity

Location of main activity


i) Demonstrate technologies in phases; ii) Provide hard evidence on performance; iii) Provide hard evidence on impact; iv) Iterative feedback to technology developers; v) Catalyse and orient sanitation industry towards water saving and beneficiation systems.

Further information

Two technologies from the RTTC have been confirmed for installation in 2016:

1. Caltech: Self-contained, PV-powered domestic toilet and wastewater treatment system

2. Critical Practices: EarthAuger urine-diverting dry toilet (UDDT). Two-hundred units have been delivered to South Africa and will be ready for use by mid-2016.

Filter tags

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Community sanitation Faeces or faecal sludge Fertiliser Global Government-owned entity (not university or research) Greywater or wastewater Operation, maintenance and sustainable services Other funding source or unspecified Product design and engineering Resource recovery Rural Schools Sub-Saharan Africa Technology comparisons Toilets or urinals (user interface) Treatment of wastewater or greywater Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)


Water Research Commission
South Africa

The WRC was established in terms of the Water Research Act (Act No 34 of 1971), following a period of serious water shortage. It was deemed to be of national importance to generate new knowledge and to promote the country’s water research purposefully, owing to the view held that water would be one of South Africa’s most limiting factors in the 21st century The strategic direction of the WRC is focused on: - An integrated approach to meeting South Africa's societal and water-sector R&D needs - Provision of integrated solutions to invariably complex, inter-disciplinary problems - Ongoing strategic identification of needs (short, medium and long-term needs, both explicit and implicit) - Investment in knowledge creation, transfer and dissemination in a set of 5 Key Strategic Areas (KSAs).

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