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National Policies and Laws  

Effective water governance relies on appropriate laws and institutions—national, provincial and local—that require water to be managed in accordance with the principles of integrated water resource management. National laws and policies that identify the roles, responsibilities, and accountability of public and private sector actors provide the water management framework (GWP 2009a). National water laws and policies establish the rules governing the use of water resources and delineate decision making power for stakeholders involved in, or affected by, water management.

Harmonising the legislative frameworks of riparian countries supports one of the strategic objectives of the SADC Regional Water Strategy (SADC 2007):

To promote the harmonisation of Member State’s national water policy, legislation and strategy with those of other Member States, the Regional Policy and Strategy and relevant international conventions and protocols.”

International guiding principles and laws together with a national water policies help to form a framework for Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) within a river basin (LBPTC 2010). Significant progress has been made in developing reforms within the water sector in moving towards IWRM principles.

The legislative and policy framework, and the respective institutions responsible for water management in each of the member countries, are summarised in the table below and detailed in the subsequent sections.

Table: Legal and Policy Frameworks of the Limpopo River basin countries.

Description

Regional

Botswana

Mozambique

South Africa

Zimbabwe

Water Policy

Regional Water

Policy, SADC,

2006

 

National Water

Policy, 2007

National Water

Policy, 1997

Water Resources Management Strategy

Water Law

Revised

Protocol On

Shared

Watercourses,

SADC, 2000

Water Law

[CAP 34:01]

1968

National water

Law, Law No.

16/91

National Water

Act, No. 36,

1998

The Water Act

[CAP 20:24],

1998;

The Zimbabwe

National Water

Authority Act

[CAP 20;25]

1998

IWRM

Strategy

Regional Water

Strategy, 2007

 

National Water

Resources

Management

Strategy, 2007

National Water

Resources

Strategy

Water Resources

Management

Strategy for

Zimbabwe, 2000

Environmental

Protection and

Management

 

National Policy

on Natural

Resources

Conservation

and

Development,

EIA Act, 6 of

2005

Environmental

Law, Lei nº

20/97

National

Environmental

Management

Act No. 107,

1998

Environment

Management Act

(CAP 20:27),

2002

Sources: LBPTC 2010; SADC 2003a

Despite the significant progress achieved by the Limpopo River basin states in introducing reforms within the water sector and harmonising national policies, challenges still exist in all of the four countries. Some of the challenges include:

  • Botswana: The legislative, policy and institutional environment for water management in Botswana are over 19 years old and require updating (ORASECOM 2007b). There are overlapping responsibilities between various agencies, and institutional arrangements are not aligned with the catchment as a management unit.
  • MozambiqueA draft Water Law has been under review since 2005 and the country is still in the process of reviewing policies that seek to introduce second generation reforms (LBPTC 2010).
  • South AfricaThe country is also still in the process of reviewing policies that seek to introduce second generation reforms (LBPTC 2010). There is no separation between the role of the Department of Water Affairs as an operator and a regulator (SADC 2003a).
  • ZimbabweThe on-going political and economic instability in the country is jeopardising the implementation of water resource management policies within Zimbabwe (SADC 2003a).
Young men from the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
Source: DWA SA 2008
( click to enlarge )

 



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