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

Michael Kidd

Abstract


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.

Keywords


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

Full Text:

PDF

References


Buyelwa Sonjica, 'Statement on the Inter-ministerial Committee on AMD' (Press Release, 6 September 2010) .

Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) Water: A Looming Crisis? (CDE, 2010) 9.

Damon Barrett and Vinodh Jaichand, 'The Right to Water, Privatised Water and Access to Justice: Tackling United Kingdom Water Companies' Practices in Developing Countries' (2007) 23 South African Journal of Human Rights 543.

Dan Kemp, 'Acid mine water: The damage done' TimesLive (online), 4 October 2010 .

Department of Water Affairs (DWA), 'Green Drop Report 2009' (DWA, 2010).

Department of Water Affairs (DWA), 'Integrated Water Resource Planning for South Africa' (DWA, 2010).

Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), 'National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS)' (2004).

Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), 'White Paper on a National Water Policy for South Africa' (1997).

Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 'Free Basic Water Project' (2010) .

E S Van Eeden, M Liefferink and J F Durand, 'Legal Issues Concerning Mine Closure and Social Responsibility on the West Rand' (2009) 5 The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 51.

Graham Jewitt, 'Can Integrated Water Resources Management Sustain the Provision of Ecosystem Goods and Services? (2002) 27 Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 887, 893.

Harksen v Lane NO [1998] 1 SA 300 paras 29-39 (Constitutional Court).

J A Allan, 'Virtual Water: A Strategic Resource, Global Solutions to Regional Deficits' (1998) 36 Groundwater 545.

J D Wells et al, 'Terrestrial Minerals' in H A Strydom and N D King (eds), Fuggle & Rabie's Environmental Management in South Africa (Juta Law Publishers, 2nd ed, 2009) 513.

J M Dabrowski, K Murray, P J Ashton and J J Leaner 'Agricultural Impacts on Water Quality and implications for Virtual Water Trading Decisions' (2009) 68 Ecological Economics 1074, 1074-5.

Jocelyn Newmarch, 'Sewage Treatment "Unacceptable"', Business Day (Johannesburg) 28 April 2010.

Johann W N Tempelhoff, 'Civil Society and Sanitation Hydropolitics: A Case Study of South Africa's Vaal River Barrage' (2009) 34 Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 164.

Johannesburg on Acidic Water Time Bomb' Mail & Guardian (online), 21 July 2010 .

Mazibuko v City of Johannesburg [2010] 4 SA 1 (Constitutional Court).

N A King, G Maree and A Muir 'Freshwater Systems' in HA Strydom & ND King (eds), Fuggle & Rabie's Environmental Management in South Africa (Juta Law Publishers, 2nd ed, 2009) 435.

N Funke, S H H Oelofse, J Hattingh, P J Ashton and A R Turton, 'IWRM in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Mhlatuze Catchment in South Africa' (2007) 32 Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 1237.

National Water Act 1998 (NWA) (South Africa), s 3(1)).

National Water Act 1998, ch 4.

National Water Resource Planning Water Available for Allocation per Water Management Area (February 2006).

Phil Hobbs and Jude Cobbing, 'The Hydrogeology of the Krugersdorp Game Reserve Area and the Implications for the Management of Mine Water Decant' (Report no. CSIR/NRE/WR/ER/2007/0097/C, CSIR/THRIP, 2007).

Regulations Relating to Compulsory National Standards and Measures to Conserve Water' (South Africa) in GN R509 GG 22355, 8 June 2001.

Report to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Acid Mine Drainage (2010) .

RSA GN R810 in GG 33541 of 17 September 2010.

Statistics South Africa, General Household Survey (July 2005) .

UNESCO, World Water Development Report Water, A Shared Responsibility (2006) .

W R Harding, 'Eutrophication of Impounded Water Resources in South Africa: Descent into Crisis' (Paper presented at the WISA Conference, Durban, April 2010).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i1.2011.2604

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.