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Institutional Oversight is the custodian for Water Management and Water Services Institutions, established under National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) and Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997).

Institutional Oversight has to ensure an enabling environment for the establishment, development, financing and audit of local and regional institutions for water resources management, and water services and stakeholder participation / empowerment, focusing is on governance, financial and stakeholder issues, amongst others.



  • Formulating Water Resources Management institutional frameworks

  • Developing and communicating policies, strategies and guidelines on the establishment and/or operation of statutory WMI, water boards and non-statutory bodies;

  • Oversight, review and approval of the proposed establishment of WMI and water boards, delegation of functions and transfer of DWS staff;

  • Developing policies, strategies and guidelines for participation and dispute resolution;

  • Promoting awareness and building capacity around institutional arrangements for WRM and the need for and approach to public participation;

  • Ensuring that the principles of redressing the results of past discrimination and community, racial and gender representation are addressed through institutional development and participation in the WRM;

  • Reviewing and approving WMI, water boards (and the proposed National Utility) business plans; and

  • Auditing the operation of CMA and WUA according to their business plans and Catchment Management Strategy


The legislative framework provides a basis for establishment of various institutions to assist the Department of Water and Sanitation in the delivery of its broad mandate, which is to develop, protect, conserve and allocation of water resources and regulation of water services and water use.

The Department of Water and Sanitation remains the custodian for water in the Republic of South Africa, therefore the oversight and the regulation of these institutions is one of the critical roles of the department through the Minister.

The following are WATER SECTOR INSTITUTIONS that Institutional Oversight is responsible for:


  • Water Management Institutions: Catchment Management Agencies & Water User Association

  • Water Services Institutions: Water Boards

  • Infrastructure Development: Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority

  • Research: Water Research Commission

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