Notes for Briefing to

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry


Progress in Implementing the National Water Act

February 2004

Barbara Schreiner, Senior Executive Manager: Policy and Regulation


1 Institutional issues

1.1 Establishment of catchment management agencies

Water Management Area


1 Limpopo

No process formalised. No stakeholder participation structures in place.

2 Luvuvhu-Letaba

No process formalised. Consultation started 2001 but stopped due lack of funds.

3 Crocodile West & Marico

Proposal accepted Feb 2003.

4 Olifants

Participation structures in place. Draft Proposal in preparation.

5 Inkomati

Proposal Gazetted (Aug 2002 and Jan 2003), comments evaluated, submitted to Minister. Governing Board Advisory Committee appointed Apr 2003 but no progress

6 Usutu to Mhlathuze

Consultation started 2002. Financial viability being studied.

7 Thukela

Initial review of July 2003 Proposal indicates significant revisions required.

8 Upper Vaal

Consultation started 2001. Participation structures in place.

9 Middle Vaal

Consultation started 2001. Participation structures in place.

10 Lower Vaal

Implementation plan to establish CMA in place. Uses existing participation structures.

11 Mvoti to Umzimkulu

Revised Proposal submitted July 2003.

12 Umzimvubu to Keiskamma

Consultation ongoing using existing structures.

13 Upper Orange

No implementation plan.

14 Lower Orange

Implementation plan to establish CMA in place. Uses existing participation structures.

15 Fish to Tsitsikamma

Consultation ongoing using existing structures.

16 Gouritz

Consultation ongoing using existing structures. Draft Proposal in preparation - submission imminent.

17 Olifants/Doorn

Consultation ongoing using existing structures. Draft Proposal in preparation - submission imminent.

18 Breede

Proposal submitted June 2002, revisions in progress.

19 Berg

Consultation ongoing


1.2 Water user associations

1.3 Transfer of O&M responsibilities

2 Water use

2.1 Registration

By end-June 2001 about 50 000 users had been registered representing more than 80% by volume of water in abstraction, storage and stream flow reduction activities.

Registration continues for these uses, and some discharge uses have also been captured on WARMS.

2.2 Compulsory licensing

Development of methodologies and approaches, eg:-

Expected to be finalised August 2004 - funded by UK DfID.

Validation and verification of existing lawful use in progress in Upper Vaal, Mhlathuze, Tosca and Inkomati catchments, and unlawful use being addressed.

This is a complex, long-term process - probably 20 years or so.

2.3 Individual licences issued

21(a) Abstracting 134

21(b) Storing 5

21(c) Impeding/diverting 4

21(d) Stream flow reduction 33

21(f) Discharging 2

21(g) Disposing of waste 1

21(i) Altering bed and banks 3

21(j) G/water disposal 2

New licences issued 1

Old permits converted to licences 16 plus 2 pending

More signed by Regional Directors.

About 55 STWs still operate under permits that will expire within two years.

Total number of sites 743

Authorisations issued 519 (70%)

443 of the authorisations are permits under S20 of the ECA, the remainder are licences ii terms of the NWA. S20 of the ECA is to be transferred to DEAT as per the amendment of the ECA in 2003.

2.4 Water demand management

Development of demand management strategies (includes education, awareness creation and communications) for demand management in respect of :-

3 Water pricing

3.1 Collection of revenue




Trading Account No.

Year Target

(R million)

Year Actual

(R million)

Year Target

(R million)

Dec 03 Target

(R million)

Dec 03 Actual

(R million)








Not known

1 878.005





Not known

1 442

1 082

1 038


Not known





Total WRM

Not known

2 052.725

2 224

1 656

1 578


Not known






2 065

2 067.075

2 239 000

1 667

1 583

Trading Accounts:

1 Integrated Catchment Management (WRM charge)

2 Integrated Systems (includes TCTA)

3 Bulk Supply

4 Water Services

Excludes WRC levy

3.2 Development of waste discharge charge system

Four phases to the development process :-

3.3 Subsidies to farmers

During the last two financial years, subsidies paid as follows:-

  1. National Water Resources Strategy
  2. Due for release in mid 2004 after considerable response received from stakeholders.

  3. International matters
  4. Orange-Senqu River Basin Commission established 2000

    Interim water sharing agreements in respect of the Inkomati and Maputo basins signed in 2002

    Agreement to establish the Limpopo Watercourse Commission signed in November 2003

  5. Drought