Title: Call for Comments for Proposed Revision of General Authorisation in terms of section 39 of the National Water Act 36 of 1998)
Government Notice: GN 1180 in GG 39458 of 27 November 2015
Date of commencement: Not yet specified
Potentially affected controls: Water use licence applications, registration of water uses

The Minister of Water and Sanitation intends to amend the general authorisation contained in GN 1199 in GG No 32805 of 18 December 2009 published in respect of section 21(c) and (i) of the National Water Act 36 of 1998. The following amendments are proposed

  1. 1. Inclusion of the following definitions:
    a. “Delineation of a wetland and riparian habitat”: means delineation of wetlands and riparian habitat according to the methodology as contained in the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2005 publication: A Practical Field Procedure for Delineation of Wetlands and Riparian Areas
    b. “Extent of a watercourse”: means: a) a river, spring or natural channel in which water flows regularly or intermittently “within the outer edge of the 1 in 100 year flood line or riparian habitat measured from the middle of the watercourse from both banks”, and for b) wetlands and pans “within a 500 m radius from the boundary (temporary zone) of any wetland or pan” (when the temporary zone is not present then the seasonal zone are delineated as the wetland boundary), and for c) lakes and dams “purchase line plus a buffer of 50 m”.
    c. “Maintenance”: means any activity required to maintain any structure in the same working condition without increasing its size or design in any manner.
    d. “Pans”: means any depression collecting water or that is inward draining or a flow through system with flow contributions from surface water, groundwater or interflow or combinations thereof;
    e. “Responsible authority”: means the Regional Head (Chief Director) or Chief Executive Officer of the relevant Catchment Management Agency
    f. “River management plans”: means any river management plan developed for the purposes of river or storm water management in any municipal/metropolitan area or described river section, river reach, entire river or sub quaternary catchment that considers the river in a catchment context
  2. Inclusion of a section on exclusions from this general authorisation (regulation 3) that include:
    a. The use of water in terms of section 21(c) and (i) for the rehabilitation of a wetland, unless complied with the conditions stipulated under General Authorisation 1198, dated 18 December 2009 published in Government Gazette No 32805;
    b. The use of water in terms of section 21(c) and (i) within the extent of a watercourse where the Risk Class is Medium or High as determined by the Risk Matrix (Appendix A);
    c. If the water user must make an application for a licence for any other water use in terms of section 21 of the Act;
    d. Where storage of water results due to the impeding or diverting of flow or altering the bed, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse; and
    e. The areas set out in Table 1 of paragraph 6.
  3. Inclusion of a section specifying to whom from this general authorisation is applicable (regulation 7).
  4. Various amendments of the conditions for impeding or diverting the flow or altering the bed, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse.
  5. Inclusion of the following appendices:
    a. A Risk Matrix in appendix A.
    b. Aspects that must be addressed in any river management plan as mentioned under sections 7(e) and (f) of the General Authorisation in appendix B.
    c. Emergency Protocol in appendix C.
    d. Activities that are generally authorised for SOC’s, other institutions and individual subject to compliance to information as set out in this table and conditions specified in this Notice in appendix D.

The notice will be applicable from 1 September 2015 for 20 years and will not be applicable in areas as may be adopted by the Minister as “no-go” areas (eg. water and watercourse conservation areas or strategic water resource areas), as well as in the catchment areas specified in table 1 of the notice. Members of the public are invited to submit to the Minister, within 60 (sixty) days after the publication of the notice in the Gazette, written comments or inputs to the addresses specified in the notice.