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Water Sector Policy Database (WSPD)

Policy Detail Information

Open Policy Document Open Policy Document
This document has been opened: 389 times to date.
Date Of Release: 07 Dec 2016
Date Of Expected Review:
Date Last Updated: 26 Jan 2017
Policy Type: Government Policy
Policy Level: National
Department: Department of Water Affairs: Water Services Policy and Strategy
Contact Name: Mbentse Bekubuhle / Ndlovu Siboniso
Phone Number: 012 336 7451 / 336 7391
Fax Number: 012 336 6560
Email: /
Directorate: DWAF Chief Directorate
Contact Name: Contact Name
Phone Number:
Fax Number:
Topics covered:
WS/WR Policies and Strategies
Policy Precis:

Sanitation is a public good – while sanitation is an intensely private social sphere of the water value chain, it is also a public good with environmental and public health protection benefits accruing well beyond the household boundary. Addressing backlogs in access to sanitation must be through holistic public interventions.
Sanitation is one of the basic necessities, which contributes to human dignity and quality of life and is an essential pre-requisite for success in the fight against poverty, hunger, child deaths, gender inequality and empowerment. South Africa has in the past 22 years focused on ensuring universal access to sanitation. Significant progress has been made; however, basic services are not yet available and accessible to all citizens, in particular the indigent.
South Africa is also expected to experience increased urbanisation in future, posing great challenges to urban sanitation systems. Changing settlement patterns are also introducing new challenges to wastewater treatment in rural areas. Sanitation services in future will need to place more emphasis on appropriate sanitation systems in human settlement, where significant considerations of available resources such as water determine sanitation system choices.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (No. 108 of 1996), particularly in Chapter 2: Bill of Rights; provides the right of all people in South Africa to dignity and the right of access to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being and is sustainable and protected from pollution and degradation. The right to sanitation is implied in the above rights.

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