Molewa: Focus on water equity

2012-05-16 20:08

kalahari.com

  • Environmental Law
    This reference guide examines essential concepts for applying legislatiion with regards... Now R313.00
    buy now
Cape Town - The government is pushing ahead with plans to create "equity" in the distribution of water resources, water affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Wednesday.

"We have now deemed it necessary that an equity enforcing mechanism be developed, which should focus particularly on access, or lack of it, to safe drinking water by poor historically-disadvantaged communities," she said.

Briefing the media at Parliament ahead of debate in the National Assembly on her department's budget, Molewa said this was an area that had "suffered neglect" over the past 18 years.

However, there was a problem because 98% of the country's water was already allocated, which made finding water for new users difficult.

"If you need to allocate additional water... for domestic use, then you have to... find it from allocated users."

Entitlement holders

But you could not simply take this already-allocated water. In terms of the Water Act, allocated users had water-use entitlements, including the right to sell their entitlements.

"There are entitlements by holders and it therefore becomes difficult to re-allocate, given these entitlement holders' ability and right to sell.

"So you need some mechanism that really somehow reverses this practice, especially with regard to the selling of the entitlements."

Currently, entitlement holders were registered as water users. The department could also allocate water using the licence process.

"But we have been doing this for quite a while. It still doesn't continuously give you additional water... it doesn't give you what you need to re-allocate.

"This is why, in some areas, developments are at a standstill waiting for allocation of water. Those entitlements are with [other users]. We can't allocate what is already allocated.

"So clearly we need some mechanism. This we are thinking very hard about. What we know is that it's going to end up with some amendment of the legislation that we have, to allow this process to happen."

Major changes

In April, Molewa signalled there would be major changes to policies and laws regulating water use. She said it was necessary to carefully consider developing "a national redress and equity water strategy" to help the poor access quality water and sanitation.

Currently, the agriculture sector consumes most (62%) of the water allocated in the country, with a further 27% allocated for domestic use (23% for urban and 4% for rural areas) and 2.5% for mining.

The industrial sector is allocated 10%, including 3.5% for industries, 2% for power generation and 3% for afforestation. Each sector pays different rates for water.

Molewa said at the time that her department was reviewing the National Water Act, the Water Services Act and the Water Research Act.

On Wednesday, she said her department had made "serious inroads" into reducing the backlog of applications for water-use authorisations and licences.

"We have finalised 1 049 applications by means of our backlog application project," she said.

Also on Wednesday, the department said illegal abstraction of water by farmers remained a huge problem in some parts of the country.

Water losses

According to water affairs chief operations officer Trevor Balzer, in the Upper-Vaal catchment alone farmers illegally abstract about 180 million cubic metres of water a year, with an estimated value of R66.4m.

He said the agriculture sector would not necessarily be targeted when it came to re-allocation of water to support development in disadvantaged communities.

Some municipalities were experiencing water losses as high as 30% or 40%, and this would be tackled first.
- SAPA
Read more on:    edna molewa  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

MDW948 ADMINISTRATOR / INTERNAL SALES

Goodwood
Anchor Executive Recruitment (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R10 000 Per Month

Road Freight Sales Executive

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Durban Freight

C#.Net and C++ Developers

Western Cape
Express Employment Services - Cape Town
R15 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.