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Legal Toolbox


We need our water source areas to provide food, water and a healthy environment for current and future generations – rights which are enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution. Legal protection of these areas is therefore a Constitutional imperative. Despite this, only 16% of our water source areas enjoy formal legal protection. This Legal Toolbox outlines a range of potential legal tools and measures that are available to protect our water source areas. The purpose of this Toolbox is to:

  1. Identify all legal mechanisms available in current statutes that could provide legal protection for our water source areas;
  2. Consider the scope and nature of the legal protection provided by each of these mechanisms;
  3. Assess the practical and political feasibility of the use of each of those mechanisms; and
  4. Recommend a way forward to secure appropriate legal protection for each water source area, as soon as possible.

The Toolbox further highlights the requirements to be met by decision-makers in implementing each legal mechanism, as well as the benefits and challenges associated with each legal mechanism. As you explore our water source areas in the Interactive Map, consider the types of legal tools that may be well suited to each water source area.