Country report – Republic of South Africa: regulating water and urban sanitation

This study looks at the development of legal and regulatory framework governing drinking water and sanitation services in South Africa. Around 780 million worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and almost 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation according to data published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In such a situation, it becomes extremely important to study the legal and regulatory measures used internationally to control, manage and improve these resources. This study, covering South Africa, England and USA, sets out to identify, comprehend and analyze these legal frameworks and structures; examine the control exercised by national, state/provincial as well as municipal governments over water and sanitation-related questions; and the responsive measures being taken by them to preserve the water resources and their quality for future generations. The authors have observed that in presence of varying geographical, historical and social factors, while it would be impossible to compare each model against the other on the basis of merit, it becomes increasingly important for governments to balance the individual’s right to water with the planet’s ecological balance.