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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Environmental justice by advocating for better environmental laws and improved implementation of laws.

2023: National Water Amendment Bill

On 17 November 2023, the Minister of Water and Sanitation published the National Water Amendment Bill (B-2023).

The Centre for Environmental Rights submitted comments on this Bill on 1 March 2024. You can see our submissions here.

The Bill seeks to amend the National Water Act 36 of 1998 so as to:

  • insert and amend certain definitions;
  • ensure equitable water allocation and optimize the use of water in support of the guiding principles of National Water Act;
  • prohibit undesirable consequences of private water trading;
  • ¬†further provide for the purpose of the Act;
  • provide for the review period of the national water resource strategy to be increased to 10 years;
  • provide for the periodic review of the determination of a class of a water resource and a water resource quality objectives;
  • provide for the period review of the Reserve;
  • further provide for the protection of water source areas;
  • further provide for the transfer of water use authorisations;
  • provide for the reallocation of water;
  • further provide for the making of regulations;
  • repeal the right to declare an existing lawful water use;
  • provide for additional controlled activities;
  • further regulate the governance matters of water user associations and their membership thereof;
  • provide for the transformation of water user associations; and to provide for matters connected therewith.