Must the mayor of Madibeng comply with Compulsory National Standards?

It surprises me every day that so few municipal politicians and officials in places like Madibeng, towns in Limpopo and Winburg, seem to realise that they must comply with compulsory national standards for water services and that the public at large are not using these standards in their motivation for better services.

Last month we discussed that the minister must “monitor the performance of every water services institution in order to ensure compliance with all applicable standards prescribed under this act...” (according to section 62(1) of the Water Services Act (WSAct))

Read more: Must the mayor of Madibeng comply with Compulsory National Standards?

Two little words: MUST and MAY – but very crucial in water regulation

We are all familiar with the following conversation in our homes:

“Mommy MAY I go and play outside? No, you MUST first finish your homework!

In the water services context, we can say: “Minister you MAY publish guidelines but you MUST monitor municipalities,” and this is exactly what the Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997) stipulates.

Read more: Two little words: MUST and MAY – but very crucial in water regulation

From political ideas to water law- what is a proper process for policy development?

Last month I promised to spend some time explaining the difference between policies, strategies, white papers, legislation, and regulations as well as guidelines.

I recall a heated debate within the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) some years ago with a learned colleague - an advocate of course - who argued that 'policy' is only that kind of policy that can be made by politicians and where there is no role for officials and water experts. Is that really true? Decide for yourself at the end of my series.

Read more: From political ideas to water law- what is a proper process for policy development?

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