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dc.contributor.authorViljoen, Germarié
dc.contributor.authorVan der Walt, Kobus
dc.identifier.citationViljoen, G. & Van der Walt, K. 2018. Suid-Afrika se waterkrisis: ’n interdissiplinêre benadering. Tydskrif vir geesteswetenskappe, 58(3): Article no 3. []en_US
dc.description.abstractSuid-Afrika se toekoms word wesentlik bedreig deur ʼn uiters beperkte water-hulpbron wat vanweë ʼn lae reënvalsyfer en onvoorspelbare droogtes vergelyk kan word met van die droogste lande ter wêreld. Suid-Afrika het boonop ʼn swak rekord van waterbesparing, die behandeling van afvalwater asook die instandhouding van waterinfrastruktuur. Hierdie gebreke lei tot groeiende kommer oor die land se beskikbare volume water, asook die gehalte daarvan. Die Nasionale Waterwet 36 van 1998 (NWW) is uitgevaardig met die primêre doel om die reg rakende Suid-Afrika se waterhulpbronne fundamenteel te verander. Die aanhef van die NWW verklaar dat water “’n skaars nasionale hulpbron is” en “ʼn natuurlike hulpbron is wat aan alle mense behoort”. Artikel 3 van die NWW brei hierdie standpunt uit deur te bepaal dat alle watergebruiksregte onder die gesentraliseerde beheer van die nasionale regering as openbare trustee val om onder meer die verspreiding, bestuur, gebruik en bewaring van en gelyke toegang tot dié skaars hulpbron te verseker. Die inkorporering van die konsep van openbare trusteeskap het ’n paradigmaskuif in die waterreguleringsraamwerk meegebring, met die gevolg dat alle privaat regte in water afgeskaf is en dat alle water effektief genasionaliseer is. Ten spyte van hierdie statutêre hervorming dui beskikbare data daarop dat die toestand van waterhulpbronne in Suid-Afrika besig is om gaandeweg en voortdurend te verswak. Hierdie artikel het ten doel om te bepaal of die nuwe waterreguleringsraamwerk van Suid-Afrika, geskoei op die konsep van openbare trusteeskap, voldoende oplossings vir Suid-Afrika se groeiende waterkrisis bied. Die artikel ontleed derhalwe Suid-Afrika se waterreguleringsraamwerk, met spesifieke verwysing na die konsep van openbare trusteeskap. Die verswakkende toestand van die land se water word vervolgens bespreek, waarna die artikel afsluit met ʼn gefundeerde opinie oor of die waterreguleringsraamwerk, geskoei op die konsep van openbare trusteeskap, geskik is om Suid-Afrika se waterhulpbron op ʼn volhoubare en billike wyse te bestuur en te beskermen_US
dc.description.abstractWater is an essential but scarce resource. Worldwide, an estimated 663 million people do not have access to sufficient and safe water for domestic use, and the demand is on the increase. It is estimated that the world will have to cope with a 40 per cent water supply shortfall by 2030, which will unavoidably affect the availability of drinking water, sanitation and food production. South Africa faces a particularly gloomy water reality. Not only is South Africa plagued by severe drought conditions, but it also has a poor record of water conservation, outdated and inadequate water treatment infrastructure, and lingering concerns about the quality and degradation of the already limited volume of available water. South Africa’s political history, characterised by a reality of unequal access to water, adds additional and unique challenges as far as water resource regulation is concerned. Following the advent of the constitutional era, a novel legal framework for water resources regulation was developed in South Africa. The National Water Act 36 of 1998 (NWA) was promulgated with the primary aim of reforming the law relating to water resources. The NWA broke new ground by inter alia introducing the concept of public trusteeship into the South African water law. Section 3 of the NWA provides that all water use rights fall under the centralised control of the state, or public trustee, to improve the distribution, management, use, conservation and equitability of access to this scarce resource. Although the concept of public trusteeship entered the South African legal realm without much fanfare, it fundamentally changed the foundation and regulatory practices of the South African water law dispensation. The water regulatory framework changed from one that linked access to water to land ownership and differentiated between private and public water, to a framework that applies to “all water” in South Africa and that acknowledges that the country’s water “belongs to all people”. Accordingly, the old system that provided for exclusive water use rights, and that was generally to the detriment of the majority of South Africans, has been replaced by a system that provides for water allowances granted at the discretion of government. The introduction of the notion of public trusteeship therefore denotes a major transformation in which existing property rights are re-defined. With this new system of the NWA, the South African government has effectively nationalised all of the nation’s water resources. It has been almost 20 years since the transformation of South Africa’s water regulatory framework, but the reality is that, despite the transformation brought about by the NWA, studies show a decline in the quantity and quality of South Africa’s water resources. Adding to the problem that South Africa is a water scarce country, the demand for water is on the increase. Severe pollution such as the fact that approximately 4 billion litres of raw or partially purified sewage are discharged daily into South Africa’s dams and rivers, as well as the widespread destruction of wetlands by mining and agricultural activities continue to impact negatively on the quality of the scarce water resource. One of the consequences of this is the growing presence of toxic blue-green algae in the water resources of South Africa, with an estimated 62 per cent of aquatic bodies already contaminated with cyanobacteria – the highest incidence in the world. In light of this water crisis, some may argue that the new regulatory framework, with its statutory objectives and strategies, is flawed. In order to determine whether the new regulatory framework for South Africa’s water resources is indeed flawed, or whether the NWA is rather a beacon of hope amid the country’s water crisis, this article analyses the novel water regulatory framework with specific reference to the concept of public trusteeship. In the second part, the article scientifically describes the state of South Africa’s water resources. The third and last part of the article provides a legal response to the growing pressure on South Africa’s water resources. It considers how the public trusteeship paradigm can be used to ensure that water is protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable manner, for the benefit of all persons. The article confirms that the public trust regulatory regime is sufficient for water regulation in South Africa, and particularly relevant to a solution to the country’s water crisis, as it offers the necessary mechanisms to achieve lasting protection for water resources, and ultimately to enhance sustainable water resource management
dc.publisherSuid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kunsen_US
dc.subjectFidusiêre verantwoordelikheiden_US
dc.subjectOpenbare trusteeskapen_US
dc.subjectFiduciary responsibilityen_US
dc.subjectPublic trusteeshipen_US
dc.subjectWater crisisen_US
dc.subjectWater degradationen_US
dc.titleSuid-Afrika se waterkrisis: ’n interdissiplinêre benaderingen_US
dc.title.alternativeSouth Africa’s water crisis: an interdisciplinary approachen_US
dc.contributor.researchID10066497 - Van der Walt, Izak Jacobus
dc.contributor.researchID13073834 - Viljoen, Germarié

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