The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

South Africa

Public Input Encouraged on Crucial Water Acts Amendments

Michael Hawthorne

SOUTH AFRICA – The Department of Water and Sanitation is set to launch a series of public consultations to gather valuable input on the proposed amendments to the National Water Act and Water Services Act. The amendments, published in the Government Gazette on November 17, 2023, aim to enhance the country’s water legislation, ensuring equitable water allocation, optimizing access to water and sanitation, and addressing socio-economic challenges.

The department emphasizes the significance of public participation, stating that the objective of these consultations is to gather comments from citizens and stakeholders. The feedback received will contribute to legislation that not only benefits the current generation but also lays the foundation for a sustainable water future in South Africa.

The proposed amendments to the National Water Act focus on strengthening the protection and conservation of water resources, expediting water use application processes, and improving equity in water allocation. Additionally, the amendments aim to phase out previous water entitlements, ensuring efficient water use and the representativity and governance of water user associations.

What could phase-out entitlements mean?

The phrase “phase out previous water entitlements” in the context of South Africa’s proposed amendments to the National Water Act refers to a process of gradually eliminating or discontinuing existing rights or allocations to water resources.

In the current water management system, individuals, businesses, or entities may hold certain entitlements or rights to use specific quantities of water for various purposes, such as agriculture, industry, or domestic consumption. These entitlements are often granted through permits or licenses issued by the government.

Expanded Regulatory Objective

Simultaneously, amendments to the Water Services Act intend to expand regulatory objectives, emphasizing safely managed sanitation, enforcement, and rectification. The proposed changes also include provisions for the accountability of water services providers, licensing procedures, and the establishment of governance structures for water boards.

The public consultations will commence in Upington, Northern Cape, on January 30, 2024, before extending to all other provinces. South Africans are encouraged to actively participate in these sessions, sharing their insights and concerns. Confirmation to attend the Northern Cape consultation in Upington can be sent to

The Public is Encouraged to Email Comments

To further engage with the amendment process, the department invites written submissions from the public. The closing date for submissions is March 1, 2024. Comments and feedback should be sent to Mapula Khuduga at or via telephone at 012 336 7835.

This call to action urges all South Africans to take an active role in shaping the future of water governance in the country. By participating in the consultations and submitting written comments, citizens can contribute to legislation that promotes sustainable water management, addresses historical imbalances, and ensures water access for all.

Let your voice be heard for a water-secure South Africa.


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