Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Upper Vaal Water Management Area


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Catchment Management Agency Establishment in the Upper Vaal Water Management Area

Based on the requirements of the National Water Act (NWA), 1998 (Act 36 0f 1998), the country was divided into 19 Water Management Areas (WMA). The NWA also requires that a Catchment Management Agency is established for each of these WMAs.

 Due to the complexity of the Upper Vaal WMA, the area was divided into 3 management units:

  • The Vaal Dam Unit

  • The Vaal Barrage Unit

  •  The Kromdraai Unit

Management Units in the Upper Vaal Water Management Area










The Upper Vaal WMA is managed by the Gauteng Regional Office of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry in consultation with stakeholders. In order to ensure stakeholder participation 13 catchment forums were established in the Upper Vaal WMA. The Waterval River Catchment Forum is one such Forum. 

In order to facilitate the management of the forums each forum elected a Forum Management Committee (FMC). The FMCs in all the respective management units in turn elected Catchment Executive Committees (CEC). The Waterval River Catchment falls within the Vaal Dam CEC of the Upper Vaal WMA 

Once all the three CECs were elected and functioning a further election process was conducted in order to establish the Upper Vaal Reference Group. The Reference Group was elected from members of the three CECs and is at the moment the highest structure in the CMA establishment process followed to date. As part of its function, the reference group will play a vital role in public awareness creation. In the future it will also provide the vital link between the CMA and the CECs and their respective forums.

 CMA Heirarchy in the Upper Vaal Water Management Area










The Reference Group has also set up Strategic Task Teams to address issues related to coal mining, industry, sewage and monitoring. Plans are underway to address gold mining related issues. It is envisaged that these strategic initiatives will form part of the Upper Vaal Catchment Management Strategy. 

The entire basis of the CMA process is public participation. The main aim of the CMA is to bring the management of water resources to the catchment level. This will ensure that water related issues and concerns of people within a catchment are given due recognition and addressed to the benefit of the catchment and the relevant role players and stakeholders.

It is therefore vital that any water related issues and concerns of the public are brought to the attention of the Waterval Forum and the Forum Management Committee.

Kavita Pema

DWAF: Assistant Director

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