The Department of Water and Sanitation from Monday 17 November, embarked on raid in certain areas of the country to compel entities, across all sectors that are abstracting water illegally from the rivers and other water resources to stop their activities or face the might of the law. Industries and illegal users that are polluting the country’s rivers were visited.
The raids/visits formed part of Focus Week to mark the Enforcement Month since the beginning of November 2014 to remind all South Africans about the importance of using water legally and sparingly. In terms of the National Water Act of 1998 all water users in South Africa – whether for commercial or domestic users – must be registered through their municipalities and industries and must be issued with water use licenses.
The National Water Act forms part of the pillars of South Africa’s laws as it seeks to enforce good management of water and its conservation. South Africa is among the 30 driest countries in the world; the country also runs the risk of becoming a desert in 20 years if we don’t manage and use our water sparingly. It is unacceptable that some individuals and industries use the country’s scarce resource for personal benefit without applying for water use licenses.
An increase in unlawful water use activities, with a negative impact on the environment as well as socio-economic factors, called for a need to bring about public awareness regarding compliance. Accelerated enforcement means effective and enforceable control measures against the unlawful water uses as a result of the detrimental impact they have on the environment.
The country’s Constitution lay down the foundation for a more just and equitable society. Everyone is guaranteed the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, the right to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures, the right of access to water, as well as the right of access to information.
Due to the constitutional obligations of the department, the Chief Directorate: Enforcement was responsible for ensuring that the constitutional mandate is met through different enforcement actions and to ensure compliance by transgressors who unlawfully use water from South Africa’s scarce water resources. The DWS wishes that even during this festive holiday season, the South African citizens will continue to respect the laws regulating water use and also use water sparingly.
For more information contact:
Cell: 082 874 2942
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS