Although South Africa has adopted a very modern permit/license system to control access to water as a resource, the attainment of the lofty objectives (efficiency, equity and sustainability) of the National Water Act of 1998 depends on two critical factors: (1) the institutional efficiency of the water management system; and (2) the development of water markets and their efficient functioning. This study lists a number of concerns that the Act is not geared to resolve efficiently or in a timely manner. These concerns include the high administrative costs of implementation, poor incentives for long-term investments, bureaucratic inefficiency, practical problems in water pricing and adaptability to climate change threat. There is a need to re-think the ways and means with which to make water distribution more efficient in the country. One possible solution would be to develop water markets in the country.

You do not currently have access to this content.