SA News

Friday, 06 September 2019 16:39

Report attached for download.

Monday, 05 August 2019 14:59

National Planning Commission Releases the National Water Security Framework

 

In September 2015 the President announced the appointment of the second National Planning Commission (NPC). This second NPC was appointed to, amongst others, promote, advance and monitor the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 by government and across all sectors of South African society. The NPC conducts regular engagements with key stakeholders and wider society on all matters pertaining to the long-term development of the country.

As part of the ongoing work of the NPC to consult and advise on the implementation of the NDP, the NPC has developed a draft National Water Security Framework (NWSF) as means of ensuring a water secure country and as a response to South Africa’s water challenges.

 

About the Discussion on the National Water Security Framework:

 

In the current decade, water crises have been identified as being among the top global risks in terms of their adverse societal and economic impacts. In South Africa, given the unfavourable hydro-climatic conditions, apartheid vestiges, and national developmental imperatives, a water crisis would have undesirable consequences – particularly for the poorer sections of the population. In pursuit of a ‘virtuous cycle of growth and development’ as espoused in the National Development Plan Vision 2030, water security has been identified amongst the key pillars. It is within this context, that the NPC was mandated to lead a process of developing and finalising the National Water Security Framework on behalf of the NPC in the context of the NDP 2030.

The draft National Water Security Framework has been approved by NPC for public input and further stakeholder engagement. The aim of the National Water Security Framework is to develop a comprehensive framework that will provide a set of concepts, approaches and commitments that the country can use to safeguard the security of availability, access and supply for basic human needs while acknowledging the importance of other water uses. Follow the link to access the paper: National Water Security Framework or find it attached at the bottom of this article for download.

We encourage organisations/individuals to share the paper with colleagues and any other relevant organisations in their networks.

Stakeholder consultation process has now commenced across the country to solicit inputs towards the finalisation of the framework. Interested organisations and individuals are invited to attend. The stakeholder consultation dates are as follows:

  • 07 August 2019, Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Municipality City Hall, Vuyisile Mini Square (Govan Mbeki Street)
  • 12 August 2019, Northern Cape, Venue to be confirmed
  • 19 August 2019, Western Cape, Venue to be confirmed
  • 30 August 2019, Gauteng, Venue to be confirmed

 

Written submissions,  can be send to the NPC by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30 August 2019.

Issued by: The National Planning Commission

Friday, 19 July 2019 09:16

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE),  have attended the Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation’s Budget Vote and the Stakeholder Engagement on the 16th of July, 2019. 

 

The Stakeholder Engagement included presentations by the CEO’s of the two established CMA’s (which were referred to as “Water Boards”); the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN)*; National Business Initiative; the World Bank and WISA. Regrettably, other stakeholders such as NGOs were not given the opportunity to engage.

*(The Partners in the SWPN are the South African Ministry of Water and Sanitation, World Bank, IFC, WEF, SAB, Coca Cola, Anglo American, Sasol, Nestle, Eskom, South 32, Exxaro, SASA, Distell and Coca Cola Bottling Association.)


Allow me please to briefly report on the Minister’s Budget presentation.  Please click here for the full report.

 

From a non-political and non-racial NGO’s perspective, it was hoped that the Minister’s and the opposition parties’ presentations would have transcended political and racial barriers.  Regrettably, it did not.

 

The Minister acknowledged inter alia:

  • The financial crisis/financial mismanagement (“huge financial problems”)
  • The irregular expenditure
  • The inequality in the distribution of water
  • Lack of capacity (limited technical staff) particularly in the municipalities (the compulsory training of municipalities)
  • The disproportionate percentage of water used for agriculture (61%) with 95% of water in the hands of white people
  • The aging infrastructure without the necessary skills and support at the right time or the right place to manage our problems on time
  • Vandalism and theft of infrastructure
  • Non-payment for services
  • The lack of skills which necessitated the appointment and monies spent on over-priced consultants
  • Effluent in rivers
  • Challenges with coordination between the three tiers for the provision of water
  • Non-compliance by the mining industry with its water license conditions

 

The proposed interventions are inter alia

  • To engage Treasury on the significant budget shortfalls of more than R2 billion affecting key projects such as the Emfuleni intervention project and Mzimvubu Water Project.
  • The Departments of Finance, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation must put measures in place to top slice the municipal grants to service the debt owed to the Department and its entities before the grants are paid to Municipalities.
  • Municipal employees must be required, as is the case with other public servants, to undergo compulsory training so that they are equipped to manage our resources.
  • Review of the tendering process.​We will review our tendering process.
  • Revival of the DWS’ construction unit who will, together with members of the construction industry, establish maintenance task teams and attend to much needed maintenance intervention, especially in the water treatment and recycling stock.
  • Request to Cabinet to declare all major dams national key points.
  • An intensive campaign to digitise all its stock holdings, data and documentation. part of protecting resources and preventing damage and neglect. 
  • New regulations on the conservation of water.
  • Appointment of river, dams and sewerage inspectors from 1 August 2019.

 

There was, according to the FSE’s recollection,  no reference to:

  1. The long term management of acid mine water (the fact that AMD will continue to be produced long after the closure of gold and coal mines and the fact that continuous pumping of underground mine water is a pre-requisite);
  2. The establishment of the 7 non-operational CMAs; and
  3. The compliance status by the DWS of the directives by the South African Human Rights Commission inter alia:

 

  • The DRDLR (together with the DWS) are directed to take steps to translate existing guidelines regarding the provision of water on privately owned land into policy to ensure that basic protections in law regarding access to water are capable of being evaluated and enforced.
  • The DMR (together with the DEA and the DWS) must, respectively, include in their annual reports the number of compliance notices or other sanctions imposed, including the proportion of successful interventions and or criminal prosecutions undertaken against non-compliance.
  • The DEA (together with the DWS) are directed to take definite steps to ensure legal protection of our water source areas through, inter alia, the use of section 24(2A) of NEMA the inclusion of a specific provision that provides that the Minister of Water and Sanitation has the power to restrict or prohibit the grant of water use licences in water sources areas alongside the use of a host of legal tools, including section 26(g) of the Regulations of the National Water Act, section 49 of the MPRDA, management tools in terms of Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 43 of 1983 (CARA) and SPLUMA, Environmental Management Frameworks, and any further tools available.  A further provision that should be applicable, includes declarations in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 10 of 2004, of water source areas as threatened ecosystems.
  • The DWS is directed to provide a report on the current state of water use monitoring.  The Report should include:
    • Mechanisms in place to conduct regular determination of the water reserve, including how the DWS accounts for anticipated migration and population growth, limitations or inadequacies in municipal-infrastructure as well as other potential impacts on the availability of water resources, such as drought;
    • An audit of all existing WULs to ensure they adequately protect the water reserve, including basic needs and ecological requirements;
    • Steps taken to monitor compliances with WULs and its impacts, particularly in mining areas; and
    • The impact mining has and will have on the water reserve and how this aligns with the National Strategic Plan for Water.
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 13:01

The report by the Department of Water and Sanitation is attached for download.

 

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 10:17

Summary of water quantity and quality challenges within the Vaal River system grounded upon the information which was presented by the Department of Water and Sanitation's Directorate: National water resource planning to the strategy steering Committee (SSC) for the continuation of the integrated Vaal River system.

Reconciliation Strategy Guide – PHASE 2 attached for download.

Monday, 01 April 2019 10:16

Picture1  

ABOUT OUR PROPERTY RIGHTS COVERAGE

This story is part of  place , our new website shining a light on land & property rights around the world.

 

Access to water is a hot topic in South Africa - and a growing number of countries hit by climate change, burgeoning populations and poor governance

By Kim Harrisberg

 

Faeces in the kitchen: South Africans call for better sewage systems

by Kim Harrisberg | @KimHarrisberg | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thursday, 21 March 2019 07:59 GMT

 

JOHANNESBURG, March 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Raw excrement, condoms and sanitary products regularly spill into homes and parks, South Africans said ahead of Friday's World Water Day - just some of about 4.5 billion people globally without safe sanitation, promised for all by 2030.

Residents are lobbying for urgent rehabilitation of sewage works by South Africa's Department of Water and Sanitation, widely criticised for lack of investment, non-payment of contractors, poor revenue collection, water theft and leakage.

"We have had water flowing into our street and home for the last three years," Heather Crosley, who lives in South Africa's biggest city, Johannesburg, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"When it rains heavily, the manhole lids blows off; sewage rushes down the road and sometimes comes into our kitchen. We have found condoms, tampons and faeces in our kitchen on more than one occasion."

Under global development goals agreed in 2015, governments pledged to provide access to water and sanitation for all by 2030. But three in 10 people worldwide do not have a water source free from faecal and chemical contamination.

The spokesman for the water department, Sputnik Ratau, said setting up an independent regulator to improve management was "paramount", although he did not have a specific timeline.

"The Ministry and Department are seized with the work of ensuring this comes to pass," he said.

Access to water is a hot topic in South Africa - and a growing number of countries hit by climate change, burgeoning populations and poor governance - as drought last year triggered warnings that Cape Town's taps could run dry.

In Johannesburg's Soweto township, residents often see untreated waste water and excrement flow into tributaries that lead to the Vaal River, one of the country's main water sources.

"In Snake Park, sewage is currently flowing into a community-built park so the children have nowhere safe to play," said community activist Tiny Dlamini.

Untreated water can cause diarrhea and cholera, which can be fatal, particularly for children.

About 56 percent of South Africa's waste water treatment works are in a poor or critical state, said Mariette Liefferink, head of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, which campaigns against water pollution caused by mining.

"This is a perfect storm of mismanagement that currently impacts 14 million South Africans without access to decent sanitation," said Christine Colvin, a water expert with the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa.

(Reporting by Kim Harrisberg @kimharrisberg, Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org

Tuesday, 06 November 2018 11:49

THE FSE PRESENTED ON INVITATION TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISION ON THE POLLUTION OF THE VAAL. 

ATTACHED ARE THE PRESENTATIONS.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018 12:35

More than two decades ago, science advocate IsmailMore than two decades ago, science advocate IsmailSerageldin forewarned that “the wars of the next centurywill be fought over water, unless we change our approachto managing this precious and vital resource”. Thissentiment is perilously close for comfort for South Africa,whose water crisis is manifesting with dire consequences.Given that the country has done little in the recent past to rectifyits water challenges, it will soon pay the price, financially, socially andeconomically, says Mariette Liefferink, CEO of the Federation for aSustainable Environment (FSE).

The rest of the Document may be opened as a PDF document.

Thursday, 03 May 2018 08:56

SUMMARY OF WATER RELATED CHALLENGES IN SOUTH AFRICA

2018

INTRODUCTION

This summary was compiled by the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) grounded upon its involvement as member of the various organs of state’s project steering committees, study steering committees, expert steering committees, advisory committees, task teams, forums, etc. since and prior to its inauguration in 2007.

Thursday, 29 March 2018 13:16

UPDATE: Appeal against Water Use License issued to Atha-Africa Ventures (Pty) Ltd to be heard at a future date

In December 2016, the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Federation for a Sustainable Environment appealed against the grant of a water use licence to Atha-Africa Ventures (Pty) Ltd (Atha) for its proposed Yzermyn underground coal mine in the Mabola Protected Environment.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018 09:48

WATER ISSUES:

Continuation of the Integrated Vaal River System Reconciliation Strategy

Study (PHASE 2).  The FSE is a member of the Strategy Steering Committee and actively participated in the meeting on the 27th of February, 2018.