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In June 2017, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) took a decision to establish a single Catchment Management Agency (CMA) to manage all water resources in South Africa

The establishment of a single CMA is aimed at decentralising water resource management as required by the National Water Act (1998), the National Water Strategy (2002 and 2013) as well as the National Policy Positions on Water (2014)

After developing a Business Case thereof, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane published a Gazette in December 2017 inviting comments from members of the public. There are a number of actions which DWS will undertake as part of implementing this process. The project will be carried out until the end of October 2018


Some of the main reasons for the establishment of a single CMA are to:

  • Save costs associated with having multiple institutions, a single one is envisaged to cut costs as per government-wide requirement of cost cuttings
  • Facilitate the separation of functions: policy, regulation and operational functions to be managed separately
  • Facilitate accelerated delivery on the national development and transformation agenda
  • Facilitate greater transparency and accountability which can result in improved water resources management
  • Leverage scarce resources such as management expertise
  • Facilitate speedier decision making and can allow the CMA to be more responsive to the needs of the WMAs

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