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IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW OF THE WATER SERVICES ACT, Act 108 of 1997 Presentation to Portfolio Committee 12 August 2008. Background : Water Services Developments.

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Act 108 of 1997

Presentation to Portfolio Committee

12 August 2008

background water services developments
Background : Water Services Developments
  • Before 1997 there was no national legislation on water supply and sanitation (water services as we know it now) as the Water Act (1956) only dealt with Water Resources issues,
  • White Paper on “Community Water Supply and Sanitation” published in 1994
  • The WS Act was promulgated in 1997 as the first national legislation on water supply and sanitation i.e. policy and regulation of the water board and municipal water business and the role of the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry.
constitutional context
Constitutional context
  • Constitution addresses the rights of individuals to access basic water and sanitation and sets out the institutional framework for services provision
  • It gives municipalities executive authority and the right to administer the provision of water services within their areas of jurisdiction
  • National and provincial government have the authority to regulate the effective performance of local government in terms of water services.
  • National and provincial government also have an obligation to support and strengthen the capacity of local government to provide services
rationale for the water services act 108 of 1997
Rationale for the Water Services Act, 108 of 1997
  • Provides a flexible, developmental legislative framework for the provision of water services
  • Promotes, support and strengthen local government while creating mechanisms for their effective monitoring by consumers, and provincial and national government
  • Set national norms and standards and require water services development planning
  • Establish statutory bodies to support and assist local government and to provide for the monitoring and regulation of these bodies
progress and achievements to date
Progress and Achievements to Date

The following achievements can be noted since the promulgation of the Water Services Act:

Sections 2,3 and 11: Right of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation

  • People served with Basic water – 18.7 million
  • People served with sanitation – 10.98million
  • 16.53 m poor population had access to FBW
  • Section 4 applied in several cases. (cut-off and limitation of supplies)
  • Regulations were published in 2001 in terms of section 9: “Minister may… prescribe compulsory national standards”
progress and achievements 2
Progress and Achievements (2)
  • Regulations were also published in 2001 in terms of section 10: “Minister may ….prescribe norms and standards in respect of tariffs for water services”
  • Published as regulations items to be included in contracts between WSA and WSP according to sect 19 (5) of the WS Act.
  • Published model bylaws in terms of section 21(4)
  • Published model contracts as provided for in terms of section 19 (7) which states the Minister may publish model contracts (with SAAWU and SALGA)
progress and achievements 3
Progress and Achievements (3)
  • Sections 13-18: Water Services Development Plans: Approximately 144 WSA’s or (90%) have drafted Water Services Development Plans as prescribed.
  • Appeals handled in terms of section 8.
  • Monitoring of WS Institutions section62: The Water Service Authority (WSA) Checklist commenced in 2005. The first round was successfully completed in 159 Water Services Authorities in March 2007 with checklist booklets signed off by council and published in 158 WSAs. Currently all 158 WSAs have authorised the publication of their results.
  • As per section 67 of the Act, the National Information System had been developed. It consistently reports on progress made in regards to water service delivery
progress and achievements 4
Progress and Achievements (4)

Water Services Intermediaries sections 24- 27 (Institutions to provide WS on private land such as farms and mining towns:

  • Developed the Toolkit for WSI’s to ensure provision of water services to privately owned-land.
  • Currently it is being piloted in Cape wine lands DM and it is progressing very well
progress and achievements 5
Progress and Achievements (5)
  • Section 62 and Regulation 5 under Section 9 of the WS Act compels the WSA to have a suitable sampling programme for Drinking Water Quality in place.
  • in 2004, a DWAF survey suggested that less than 50% of WSA's were monitoring the quality of water supplied in their areas of jurisdiction.
  • in 2005 DWAF initiated its DWQ Regulation Programme, and currently more than 95% of WSA's are reporting sampling results to DWAF via the electronic Water Quality Management system.
  • Results from about 3200 sampling sites situated across the country proofs to comply in the vicinity of 94% with the national standard (SANS 241).
progress and achievements 6
Progress and achievements (6)
  • Sections 28- 50: Oversight over water boards done as prescribed in terms of the WSAct (act replaced several individual water board acts)
  • Water Boards are complying with all aspects of the PFMA as noted during the Water Boards Annual Report hearings i.e. Submission of Annual Reports, Business Plans, Annual Audited Financial statements, performance reviews and quarterly reports.
what has not worked
What has not worked
  • Process of implementation “too supportive” that lead to “soft” approach--we have now reached a stage where regulations need to be enforced more strictly.
  • Insufficient mechanisms within the current Act for the Minister to effectively regulate (facilitate the speedy rectification of detected non-compliance without having to depend on litigation or lengthy legal procedures).
  • Not sufficient power for the Minister to intervene on the underperforming WSA’s (legislative shortfall).
  • No water committee established as local government developments superseded this.
the need for corrective steps ws act 108 1997
The Need for Corrective Steps: WS Act 108, 1997

With the new local government dispensation it became necessary to consolidate Water Sector Legislation and Policy. This led to the development of the SFWS( Cabinet approved in 2003)

The SFWS gives a:

  • Comprehensive approach to the provision of water services (water supply and sanitation)
  • It puts forward a vision for the water services sector for the next ten years
  • Sets out an umbrella framework to enable the sector vision to be achieved
  • The Regulation 5 is under review and has been submitted to DWAF legal services for promulgation purposes.
  • This revision ensures to include Water Safety Plans as a requirement which is recommended by the World Health Organization as an effective tool for DWQM efficiency.(All 2010 hosting cities have adopted WS Plans)
the need for corrective steps ws act 108 19971
The Need for Corrective Steps: WS Act 108, 1997
  • During the public hearings in Parliament on DWQ held on the 03rd and 04th June 08, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee noted the following:
    • The challenges and problems reported by municipalities warrant for immediate tougher stance.
    • Part of the review of the WS Act will address exactly this concern by creating an enabling environment for effective regulations particularly on DWQ.
what corrective steps is dwaf taking
What Corrective Steps is DWAF Taking?
  • A process to review the Water Services Act was initiated in 2004. This was triggered by new LG legislation and the SFWS
  • Department consulted with other National departments and National Water Sector stakeholders namely:

DPLG; Dept of Housing; Dept of Health; DEAT; Dept of Education; Dept of Public Enterprise; DPW; and National Treasury;

SALGA; Water Research Commission; SAAWU; Chief State Law Advisor; and Committee for Environmental Co-ordination

intentions and benefits of the review 1
Intentions and benefits of the review (1)
  • Draft national and provincial legislation impacting on water services promulgated without any, or last minute consultation
    • Review to provide that such legislation may only be introduced after DWAF Minister has been formally consulted.
  • Currently provinces can implement Act without framework
    • Review to provide for coordinated implementation and allocation of powers and functions
Intentions and benefits of the review (2)
  • Legislative alignment with new local government dispensation needed – “DWAF Position” on Powers and Functions of Municipalities (White Paper)
    • - Clear distinction between WSA and WSP and
    • WSA, WSP to operate in terms of MSA, MFMA
    • but with exemptions
    • - Selection and appointment of external WSPs
    • (incl CBOs) taking LG legislation into account,
    • with proposed exemptions and DWAF input (DPLG draft bill proposes amendments to section 78 process)
intentions and benefits of the review 3
Intentions and benefits of the review (3)
  • DWAF role as regulator of water services not comprehensively spelt out in existing legislation
    • Provides for enabling legislative environment for an effective regulations through Regulatory Strategy
    • Wide ranging authority for Minister to make regulations
    • Role in dispute resolution between WSA/WSP
    • Clear powers of intervention for the Minister/MEC when non-compliance occurs
    • Powers to set KPIs
Intentions and benefits of the review (4)
  • Planning requirements outdated, no linkages with WRM
    • - Planning process aligned with IDP process
    • - Consultations with CMAs, WSA’s, WSP’s for
    • integrated planning
    • - Planning oversight by DWAF
  • Consumer rights and obligations neglected in law
    • - Rights and obligations to be spelt out, as well as
    • right to complain to the Minister as last resort
intentions and benefits of the review 5
Intentions and Benefits of the Review (5)
  • Provision of water and sanitation services on private property problematic, need revision on water services intermediaries
    • Rights and obligations of water services intermediaries (WSI)
    • Clear role for WSA when WSI non-compliant
    • Framework for financial support and subsidies to WSI
Intention and benefits of the Review (6)
  • Review needs to Improve governance and oversight of water boards
    • Ministerial authority over WB’s must be spelt out
    • Ministerial approval of budgets, business plans, CEO’s package;
    • Specific alignment with provisions of PFMA including shareholder compacts, financial management
    • Functions related to CMAs not planned but should not exclude such functions, can be provided for in NWA
intention and benefits of the review 7
Intention and Benefits of the review (7)
  • Establishment, disestablishment processes set out

 Review must include reasons for

disestablishment of WB.

 It should bring more clarity and direction on boards and

appointment of its members.

  • Current Act vague on water board tariffs and this to be changed to say that the Minister must


intention and benefits of the review 8
Intention and Benefits of the Review (8)
  • Monitoring of WSAs and WSPs performance


    • WSAs, WSPs, DWAF to establish mechanisms for monitoring performance
    • Provision for incentives to provide information
    • Obligation to share information
intention and benefits of the review 9
Intention and benefits of the Review (9)
  • Insufficient revenue collection by WSA’s
    • ring fencing of water services;
    • development of asset management plans (maintenance and rehabilitation); and
    • Income from water services must be clearly stated.
    • Preparation and implementation of required plans and budgets.
for more information
ForMore Information:

Mr. Helgard Muller, Tel: 012 336 6567

Cell: 082 807 4332

E-mail: [email protected]

Ms Shantal Harigobin, Tel: 012 336 6561,

Cell: 082 885 7894

E-mail: [email protected]

Mr. Siboniso Ndlovu, Tel: 012 336 6515,

Cell: 082 327 5299

E-mail: [email protected]