Title: Regulations regarding the Procedural Requirements for Water Use Licence Applications and Appeals
Government Gazette Notice: GN R267 in GG 40713 of 24 March 2017
Commencing Date: 24 March 2017

The purpose of these Regulations is to prescribe the procedure and requirements for water use licence applications as contemplated in section 41 of the National Water Act 36 of 1998 (NWA), as well as an appeal against a decision made by a Responsible Authority in terms of section 41(6) of the NWA.

Water Use Licence Applications
Applications shall be submitted in the relevant form listed in Annexure B of these Regulations, together with supporting documents. These Regulations also state that the process of water use licence application, consideration and decision must be undertaken within a period of 300 days of submitting such application.

To ensure alignment and integration of the process for consideration of a water use license with the timeframes and processes applicable to applications for licences, permits or rights for prospecting, exploration, mining and production in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002, the applicant must submit a written proof of acceptance of an application for a permit or rights issued by the Department of Mineral Resources, within a period of 5 days from date of issuance of such letter.

A pre-application enquiry meeting is compulsory for submission of applications for water use licences. Applications must be either accepted or rejected within 10 days from receipt of the application. A site inspection may be required. Five days after the site inspection, the Responsible Authority must inform the applicant, in writing, of the information required to compile a technical report for a water use licence application.

Thereafter the applicant must, within a period of 105 days of the date of being informed of the required information for compilation of a technical report on the water use licence application,
and submit such a report to the responsible authority, including any relevant specialists reports as set out in Annexure D. The Responsible Authority must, within 10 days of receipt of the technical report on water use licence application, either accept or reject the technical report. If the technical report on water use licence application meets the requirements of these Regulations, the Responsible Authority shall proceed with the technical assessment which must be finalized within 139 days. A water use licence application must be considered and finalized within 144 days from the date of acceptance of the technical report on water use licence, and in accordance with the processes stipulated in Annexure A.

A procedure for public participation must be conducted as contemplated in section 41(4) of the NWA, as part of the water use licence application process. Where a public participation process has already been undertaken through the Environment Impact Assessment processes or any other public consultation process, and that public participation process contains and covers all issues pertaining to water use activities, then that public participation process report may, subject to approval by the responsible authority, be submitted for the requirements of the water use licence application.

An applicant or a person who objected to an application and who is aggrieved by a decision of the responsible authority on a water use licence application, may lodge an appeal to the Minister of Water and Sanitation. a notice of intention to appeal in accordance with Annexure F must be submitted to the Minister, within 30 days of becoming aware of the decision or of being provided with reasons for the decision. The Minister must, after receipt of appropriate information, make and communicate a decision on the appeal within 90 days of receiving the appeal.

The following annexures have been included in these Regulations:
• Annexure A: Summary of timeframes for receiving and steps in processing of a water use licence application;
• Annexure B: Forms and Reports to be completed in respect of a particular water use licence application;
• Annexure C: Application checklist;
• Annexure D: Table of contents of technical reports for information requirements to be submitted;
• Annexure E: Security and Guarantee; and
• Annexure H: Requirements for civil designs drawings and report from Applicant.

So what for my operation?
The procedures and requirements of these Regulations must be followed during all applications for water use licences, as well as during the lodging of appeals against decisions made. A person is guilty of an offence if that person wilfully and knowingly provides an incorrect or misleading information in his or her application; or wilfully and knowingly omits information that may have an influence on the outcome of a decision of a responsible authority. These offences are punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to five years.

What is Shangoni’s approach?
Shangoni has a dedicated Water Department specialising in the facilitation of water use licence applications. Our highly-qualified consultants have extensive experience in consulting with governmental departments during application procedures and have expert technical knowledge in the field of water management. For more information on potential assistance in this regard, contact Nico Brits at