Managing Water Resources in Developing Countries: South Africa As An Example for Policy And Regulation - page 10


The Water Resources Regulatory Chain

There are a number of players active in water resources regulation in South Africa. Figure 6 maps the key players and their relationships, and indicates the nature of the regulation being implemented by DWA and CMAs. While CMAs are responsible for technical regulation mainly, i.e. regulating the actual use of water to meet certain objectives, DWA is responsible for regulating water use of international and strategic importance, ensuring CMAs regulate water use effectively, regulating the water pricing elements, and regulating CMA governance. This means that DWA is responsible for technical, economic and governance regulation. The decision on institutional arrangements for economic regulation may change DWA's responsibility in this regard, as indicated in Figure 6.

The regulatory chain begins with Parliament, which creates the legislation on which any regulatory mandate is based, and which in entitled to request reports on the implementation of that legislation. Any amendments to legislation require the engagement and approval of Parliament.

Another element of the regulatory framework that is critical in both interpretation of the regulatory mandate and enforcement, are the courts, including the Water Tribunal. There is currently some discussion about the establishment of water and environmental courts to ensure appropriate skills and understanding for the handling of water-related court cases.

The term "governance regulation" has been coined to refer to the regulation of the governance functions of subsidiary institutions, such as CMAs and WUAs. There are three elements to the regulation of these institutions – one relates to economic regulation, largely to the price of water; and the second relates to the regulation of their technical performance, e.g. are they meeting reserve requirements or international requirements, are they issuing licences in accordance with national policy and procedures, etc. The third relates to ensuring that water management institutions are accountable to the Department and meet their legal and fiduciary responsibilities of good governance. The latter is referred to as governance regulation.


Figure 6: The Water Resources Regulatory Chain in South Africa.

Figure 6: The Water Resources Regulatory Chain in South Africa.