Water Services Act, 1997 (Act No. 108 of 1997)

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Notice No. 1662

19 December 1997

 

(English text signed by the President.)

(Assented to 27 November 1997.)

 

It is hereby notified that the President has assented t the following Act, which is hereby published for general information:-

 

 

To provide for the rights of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation; to provide for the setting of national standards and of norms and standards for tariffs; to provide for water services development plans; to provide a regulatory framework for water services institutions and water services intermediaries; to provide for the establishment and disestablishment of water boards and water services committees and their powers and duties; to provide for the monitoring of water services and intervention by the Minister or by the relevant Province; to provide for financial assistance to water services institutions; to provide for certain general powers of the Minister; to provide for the gathering of information in a national information system and the distribution of that information; to repeal certain laws; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

 

PREAMBLE

 

RECOGNISING the rights of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation necessary to ensure sufficient water and an environment not harmful to health or well-being;

 

ACKNOWLEDGING that there is a duty on all spheres of Government to ensure that water supply services and sanitation services are provided in a manner which is efficient, equitable and sustainable;

 

ACKNOWLEDGING that all spheres of Government must strive to provide water supply services and sanitation services sufficient for subsistence and sustainable economic activity;

 

RECOGNISING that in striving to provide water supply services and sanitation services, all spheres of Government must observe and adhere to the principles of co-operative government;

 

ACKNOWLEDGING that although municipalities have authority to administer water supply services and sanitation services, all spheres of Government have a duty, within the limits of physical and financial feasibility, to work towards this object;

 

RECOGNISING that the provision of water supply services and sanitation services, although an activity distinct from the overall management of water resources, must be undertaken in a manner consistent with the broader goals of water resource management;

 

RECOGNISING that water supply services and sanitation services are often provided in monopolistic or near monopolistic circumstances and that the interests of consumers and the broader goals of public policy must be promoted; and

 

CONFIRMING the National Government's role as custodian of the nation's water resources;

 

BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa as follows:-