NEW GENERAL AUTHORISATION FOR WATER USES
WATER USES UNDER S21(c) or (i) OF THE NATIONAL WATER ACT
In terms of Government Gazette No. 4167 of 8 December 2023, the Director-General of the Department of Water and Sanitation has GENERALLY AUTHORISED persons to use water under s39(1) of the National Water Act read with s21(c) or (i) of the Act.
Section 21(c) and (i) of the Act refers to activities or water uses which:
impeded or divert the flow of water in a watercourse, and
alter the bed, banks, course or characteristic of a watercourse.
A general authorisation means that a water user does not need to apply for a water use licence.
ACTIVITIES THAT ARE GENERALLY AUTHORISED (NO WATER USE LICENCE REQUIRED)
ESKOM & other institutions: overhead lines and minor maintenance of access roads, river crossing, towers, and substations.
SANPARKS & other institutions: construction and maintenance of all pipelines under 500mm diameter.
SANRAL & other institutions: all maintenance of bridges and road sections over rivers, streams and wetlands, and construction of bridges and roads over non-perennial rivers…
GAUTRAIN: maintenance of existing infrastructure and expansion to crossings of non-perennial rivers within the existing servitude.
TELKOM & other communication companies: installation of cables where watercourses are crossed by horizontal directional drilling or pipe jacking…
WATER PROVISION institutions: all maintenance of existing water pipelines and construction of new raw and drinking water pipelines 1.5m diameter and smaller crossing non-perennial rivers and/or wetlands …
CONTROL OF AQUATIC ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES: when executed in terms of a control plan…, and release of approved biological control agents for alien invasive aquatic weeds.
INSTITUTIONS: emergency ventilation shafts outside watercourse buffer, and rescue boreholes located outside the extent of any watercourse.
OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT ARE GENERALLY AUTHORISED
Emergency river crossings
Construction of a single residential house & associated infrastructure
Maintenance to private roads (less than 4m wide) and river crossings
Erection of fences
Construction of renewable energy projects and associated infrastructure
Mini-scale hydropower developments (max 10kW-300kW capacity)
Water uses having a low risk class as determined through the risk matrix.
Maintenance work associated with an existing lawful water use with a low risk class
Rehabilitation of wetlands with a low risk class
River and stormwater management activities as part of a river management plan
Emergency work arising from an emergency situation.
ACTIVITIES THAT ARE NOT GENERALLY AUTHORISED i.e. requiring a water use licence
Rehabilitation of wetlands
Activities within a watercourse where the risk class is medium or high
Storage of water
Construction or maintenance of main or bulk sewerage pipelines, French drains, pipelines carrying hazardous materials
Construction of water and wastewater treatment works incl package plants and septic tanks
Water use associated with any hazardous material
Water use associated with mining activities and associated infrastructure
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In terms of the new General Authorisation, a number of concessions have been afforded to parastatals and/or state-owned entities and related institutions; and more emphasis has been placed on the risk matrix to determine whether the use is generally authorised or will require a Water Use Licence.