Department of Water and Sanitation
The draft legislation to set up the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency has been completed.
The human settlements, water and sanitation minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, announced this during the debate on the 2021 State of the Nation Address in the national assembly this week.
The minister added that the proposed legislation will be ready for tabling during the second half of 2021, following the conclusion of public consultations on the draft bill.
According to the minister, the primary objective of the Agency will be to “sustain and improve the performance of all strategically important water supply systems in regions where water security is at increasing risk”.
The Agency will be responsible for, inter alia:
• The provision of water for all in the country in the most equitable manner;
• Making sure that ordinary South Africans have access to sufficient clean water;
• Ensuring that the economy has sufficient water so that it is functional and continues to expand; and
• Support to the vision of universal dignified sanitation.
The minister declared that the “primary responsibility of the Agency is to ensure that quality water and sanitation is available to all South Africans and there is a guarantee of water sustainability for the economy”.
In order to achieve this, the Agency will work with municipalities, water boards, financial institutions, the agricultural community and other sectors such as mining.
“The Agency will strengthen the ability of the water sector to fund, build and operate the large water resource projects on which South Africa depends for its water security”, she said.
The minister also confirmed that it now takes 70-90 days to finalise any new, duly completed and compliant water licence application.