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Water Sector Policy Database (WSPD)

Policy Detail Information
Policy Name: Drinking Water Quality Framework for South Africa

Open Policy Document Open Policy Document
This document has been opened: 971 times to date.
Date Of Release: 01 Dec 2005
Date Of Expected Review: 01 Dec 2008
Date Last Updated: 14 Feb 2007
Policy Type: Strategies and Guidelines
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:

The Drinking Water Quality Framework was developed in December 2005 and provides information needed to monitor, manage, communicate and regulate drinking water quality in South Africa. The aim of the document is to protect public health.

The primary audience for the document is Water Services Authorities.

The framework was developed in response to the unacceptably high incidence of poor quality drinking water in non-metro areas of South Africa. The framework is based upon a series of commitments; a commitment to drinking water quality and multi-stakeholder involvement; systems analysis and management; the implementation of supporting programmes; review of water quality data to effect improvements, and effective implementation of the framework – this includes both short term and long term intervention strategies.

Section Summary

  Section Number Section Heading Section Description
1. Introduction The introduction provides background and the South African context to the problem, the section also provides a list of the enabling legislation that make high quality drinking water possible.
2. Current State of Drinking Water Quality This section provides a discussion of why drinking water quality standards have declined. These results were obtained from a rapid review of the area, which identified the key causes for the decline. These key causes are listed in the document.

3. The Drinking Water Quality Framework This section contains the framework for the management of drinking water quality. The key section is systems analysis where the water supply system is assessed, strategies for quality control are designed, operational procedures and process control are discussed, methods for the verification of drinking water quality are covered, an incident and emergency response model is developed and the section covers drinking water quality in communities that are not served by potable water.

The section covers the various supporting programmes to ensure that high quality drinking water is provided. These are programmes in stakeholder and community awareness, for WSA’s to carry out additional research in the field and for adequate documentation and reporting of performance to be carried out. The section also discusses suitable funding mechanisms for drinking water quality.

The final element of the Framework is that of Evaluation and Audit to ensure that high standards are maintained.

3. Regulation Strategies This section discussed the approach to regulation and enforcement that will be taken by the sector leader, DWAF. The section covers a phased implementation approach, with short term, medium and long term goals.

Incentives and sanctions for under-performing WSA’a are listed and explained.

4. Institutional Roles and Responsibilities The roles of WSA’s, WSP’s WSI’s, DWAF, DoH, SALGA, DPLG, National Treasury, Water Research Commission, South African Association of Water Utilities and Civil Society in the provision of high quality drinking water are explained.

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