Fracking activities and new land development projects, which often require the crossing of water courses, need water-use licences in terms of the National Water Act.
In a water-scarce country like South Africa it is important that we have effective laws to safeguard our water supply.
The Department of Water and Sanitation is responsible for issuing the water-use licences and has had problems in processing applications efficiently.
The effect of this is that property development is stalled and this pushes up prices in existing developments because demand can’t be satisfied by increasing supply.
The penalties for not obtaining a licence are severe and include prison time, so property developers choose instead to wait out the process – which increases new development costs because time is money.
David de Waal (CA(SA))
Steeple – Low cost estate agents