Poisoning the Right to Water in South Africa: What Can the Law Do?

Michael Kidd


This paper examines the major problems currently facing South Africa’s water sector and identifies that water shortages will be a significant issue to deal with in the near future. The problem of shortage is exacerbated by severe water quality concerns. The role of the law in addressing these water concerns is examined and it is shown that the law, on paper, is able to address most of these issues and to provide for an integrated water resource management system. Failure to implement the law in the past, however, has led to situations arising that are beyond the power of the law to address and innovative solutions will have to be found. For the future, the law will have to be implemented appropriately in order to avoid similar problems arising again.


South African water law, acid mine drainage, water shortage, environmental water, civil rights, South Africa constitution

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