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Legal Toolbox

Formal Protections Mechanisms

Formal legal protection are those legal mechanisms which, if used, can provide real and concrete protection for our water source areas. These mechanisms include section 24(2A) the National Environmental Management Act, which can be used to create a network of water source areas. This mechanism should be prioritised, as it provides the strongest protection possible – of both the areas of land in which water source areas are found and the water resource itself. Other formal legal protection mechanisms are a mixture of land-based and activity-specific mechanisms which include:

The Constitution, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (PAJA), National Environmental Management Act and the National Water Act require that the importance of water source areas be taken into account in every decision made by organs of state. However, evidence of the current state of growing threats faced by water source areas shows that this does not happen routinely. This means that proactive formal legal protection for water source areas is essential, and now also urgent.