The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) is responsible for the management of water in South Africa and is divided into two key or main functions, namely Water Resource Management and Water Services Management. Water Resource Management involves the protection, conservation, collection and management of the raw surface and ground water (including the construction of dams), while Water Services Management involves the supply of treated water and the re‐treatment of used or effluent water, including sanitation services. The water services sector and its institutional structures are governed by the Water Services Act 108 of 1997.
Over the past two decades, as with electricity, the long‐term provision of water was largely neglected as a strategic resource, but now much planning and money is being devoted to the question. Even so, the supply will remain marginal as the demands of a growing population are compounded by climate change and ageing infrastructure.
Written by Palesa Siphuma