South Africa News


South Africa has had the rare opportunity to completely reform its water law since the first democratic elections were held in 1994. This resulted in the enactment of the Water Services Act (Act 108 - of 1997) and the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998). The legislation is "framework legislation" with most of the detail being incorporated in regulations. Since the enactment of the legislation which contains many unique features, the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has engaged in a complex program of implementation. This is beginning to produce a number of very interesting documents which are of interest beyond the particular circumstances of South Africa. These will be mounted on this page as they become available.

[The Author of the Water Page had the privilege of serving the new government as full-time Ministerial Advisor to the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry after the elections in 1994 when the reform process began. After stepping down as Advisor, I advised the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on the passage of the Water Services Bill and the National Water Bill through the Parliamentary process. I was also commissioned to write common English guidelines to the both Acts.]


South African Sector Reform

Reform implementation

Policy and legislation

Related issues and comment



  • Home Page of the Ministry of Water Affairs & Forestry, South Africa

  • Home Page of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

  • Water Research Commission A statutory organisation instituted according to the Water Research Act.

  • INTERWATER - (formerly WENDY) Water supply and Environmental Sanitation Electronic Network for Developing Country's Needs. INTERWATER is a collaborative electronic network of partner institutions in the water and sanitation sector, operating under the auspices of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. It acts as a gateway to sources of water and sanitation information which are accessible through the Internet. Undertaken by the Pollution Research Group of University of Natal, Durban, together with the Department of Civil Engineering, of University of Durban Westville.

  • The Mvula Trust Promoting safe and sustainable water and sanitation services to South Africa's disadvantaged communities.

  • Water Wise, run by Rand Water

  • Lesotho Highlands Water Project A project to store and transfer water through a series of dams and tunnels from Lesotho to South Africa.

  • Water Supply - Local Government - Durban - South Africa The water service in the Durban Metropolitan area.

  • Umgeni Water Umgeni Water is the largest water authority in the KwaZulu-Natal Region of South Africa and is centered around the Greater Durban and Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan areas. The organisation is involved in a broad range of water services, but its core business lies in bulk storage, treatment and supply of water to towns and cities in its area.