South Africa’s new water strategy

The South African government has finally set out its plans for the water sector over the next decade and beyond. Much of the theory of the government’s strategy was set out in the 1998 National Water Act but it has taken four years to put the meat on the bones. Although the publication of the National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS) explains the means by which the nation’s water can most effectively be used, it does little to settle the debate over public versus private control of the water sector.

The NWRS was eventually published in August and provides “the legally-binding framework within which the water resources of South Africa will be managed in the future”. It outlines the goals and objectives of water resources management for the country and “provides the plans, guidelines and strategies to achieve these goals”. However, such general statements hide the...

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