South Africa is widely acclaimed for statutory water reforms following the first democratic elections in 1994. Flowing from the national constitution, the institutional reorientation ñ embraced largely in the National Water Act (1998) and the Water Services Act (1997) ñ aimed to address issues of racially-based inequities in access to water together with long-term sustainability which together constituted the cornerstone principles for change. Not only did the transformative policies highlight the socio-economic impacts of these historical disparities on the vast majority of the countryís people, but they also recognised that with 13 out of 19 basins either in ñ or approaching ñ water deficit, more holistic approaches to water security and long-term sustainability were needed. The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) was thus charged with finding a balance between the urgent need to address economic development while ensuring sustainability and inter-generational rights.
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