Many countries in the world, including South Africa, are water-stressed with increasing pressure on their water resources due to population growth, climate change, and inadequate funding. Post independence in 1994, many policies and programmes were introduced by the government with the aim of promoting water management. While these policies and strategies achieved much in terms of water provision to communities and households, they failed to establish a water-conscious country with sufficient knowledge and expertise in water management. In addition, these policies and programmes are outdated, compartmentalised, complex, and lack robust water governance with resilient stakeholder partnerships that advance the more explicit second phase of the NDP to achieve water security under the threat of climate change. Using data collection tools inspired by the traditional method of participatory research, this paper analyses the structural and systematic factors hindering the implementation of comprehensive policies to achieve water security in South Africa. There is, therefore, an urgent need for South Africa to establish an independent water regulator to ensure coordination between different government departments, including the National Treasury, to strengthen weak governance capacity and to make it independent to attract private equity into the sector and to recover fiscal deficits in the water sector.


  • My paper deals with water security in South Africa post 1994.

  • The country inherited a backlog of unfair water distribution due to the racial injustices of the past.

  • Post independence in 1994, the new government of South Africa introduced numerous policies and programmes to address the challenges in the water sector, while much have been achieved in terms of fair water distribution of water.

  • The policies and programmes have, however, failed to address other issues and constraints in the sector.

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