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Comment period extended: Draft Water and Sanitation Services Policy on Privately Owned Land

15 February 2023

The Department of Water and Sanitation has extended the deadline date for public comment on the Draft Water and Sanitation Service Policy on Privately Owned Land to 31 March 2023. The initial deadline date was the 21 January 2023.


From the preface to the policy:

This policy has been drafted in recognition of the many people residing on privately owned land in South Africa who have not had access to a basic potable water supply system or the use of a basic sanitation facility. The scope and content of this policy result from extensive consultative processes and lengthy discussions around the realities and challenges faced at grass roots level.

Ensuring the provision of water services to residents on privately owned land encompasses a wide range of activities, many of which require government policy guidance. This policy will focus on impact-oriented outcome, namely access to a safe and potable water supply and sanitation, supported by appropriate health and hygiene practices, targeted for people living on privately owned land currently out of municipal distributing network, using water services intermediaries’ mechanisms as enshrined in the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act No. 108 of 1997).

This policy sets out to define the Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) responsibility in regulating and supporting the provision of water services to residents living on privately owned land. The policy defines privately owned land and the need for a policy of this nature against the background of the many “backlog” residents living on privately owned land in South Africa. The policy contains a problem statement, legislative context, purpose and scope, objectives, principles, roles and responsibilities and includes considerations to be implemented.

The policy aims to provide direction on matters ranging from access and redress to integrated planning, health and environmental impacts, technical considerations and financial approaches to ensuring water services to residents living on privately owned land are all dealt with in the content of the document and also serve as a basis for the development of relevant protocols and tools for the realisation of the policy’s objectives.”