REVISED GENERAL AUTHORISATION: SECTION 21(A) AND (B)
Title: REVISION OF GENERAL AUTHORISATION FOR THE TAKING AND STORING OF WATER
Government Gazette Notice: GN 538 in GG 40243 of 2 September 2016
Commencing date: 2 March 2017
The Acting Director-General of the Department of Water and Sanitation replaced the General Authorisation Regulations for water uses in terms of section 21(a) (taking water from a water resource) and (b) (storing water) of the National Water Act 36 of 1998 (NWA). The previous General Authorisation Regulations pertaining to these water uses (GN 399) are also withdrawn from the date of effect of the new Regulations. This authorisation will remain in effect for a period of twenty years from the date that it comes into effect or until it is withdrawn in total or withdrawn for specified areas or water resources by notice in the Government Gazette.
The following definitions have been added:
• Groundwater resource;
• A property;
• Surface water resource;
• Lawful access to property; and
• Communal land.
In terms of the new Regulations no water that is taken in terms of this authorisation may be taken within a 500 metre radius from the boundary (delineated edge) of a wetland, pan or estuary. Furthermore, no groundwater that is taken in terms of this authorisation may be taken within a 500 metre radius from the boundary of a wetland or estuary, within a 100 metre radius from the delineated riparian edge of a water course or a state dam, within a 500 metre radius of a state dam wall or within 500 metres from the high -water mark of the ocean. If water is taken within these limitations, a water use licence must be obtained.
Specific provisions have been added pertaining to relation to other entitlements to take or store water, the taking of water from a surface water resource and the taking of water from a groundwater resource. Specific conditions pertaining to the storing of water have also been added, as well as the payment of charges.
The taking or storing of water in terms of this authorisation that must be registered may only be exercised if the water use has been registered. The following registration requirements will be applicable:
- A person who takes more than 50 cubic metres of water from a surface water resource per day on average over a year on a property or piece of land in terms of this authorisation must register the water use with the responsible authority.
- A person who takes more than 10 cubic metres of water from a groundwater resource per day on average over a year on a property or piece of land in terms of this authorisation must register the water use with the responsible authority.
- A person who stores more than 10 000 cubic metres of water on a property or piece of land in terms of this authorisation must register the water use with the responsible authority.
So what for my operation?
Should your operation take water from a water resource or store water, a water use activity in terms of the NWA is triggered. To ensure that you act lawful, it is required that you adhere to the provisions of this General Authorisation with specific reference to general requirements, geographical limitations, registration requirements and the payment of charges.
What is Shangoni’s approach?
To be able to ensure that your operation does not act unlawful in terms of geographical limitations (i.e. within a 500 metre radius from the boundary of a wetland or estuary, within a 100 metre radius from the delineated riparian edge of a water course or a state dam, within a 500 metre radius of a state dam wall or within 500 metres from the high-water mark of the ocean) a wetland delineation may be required, a process as can be facilitated by Shangoni.
Registration of water use in terms of the General Authorisation Regulations
Shangoni assists our clients in the mining and non-mining sectors in ensuring the complete identification of, as well as compliance to all legal requirements pertaining to their water uses. One of these requirements could be registration with a Competent Authority. Shangoni can facilitate all correspondence with Competent Authorities in this regard.
Facilitation of application for water use licences
Shangoni has the expertise and experience to undertake the full spectrum of tasks for water use licence applications for our clients within the mining and non-mining sectors. This includes the statutory public participation and consultation process and all the required interactions with the regulating authorities. Shangoni’s approach towards water use licence application development also emphasises the management of identified risks, thus adding significant value to the organisation beyond the delivery of required documentation submitted to regulators for approval.