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Water Resources: Government Information: Library Guide: Legislation & debates

This guide directs you to government sources on water resources from international to local level.


Bills are draft Acts that are debated in Parliament. We have print copies of Bills until recent years @ G 68 FLA. Bills are available online:

South Africa Government Online: Bills since 1996 and draft bills since 1997.

Sabinet Bill Tracker: Bills and draft bills since 2000, with briefing papers, memoranda and submissions.

Parliamentary Monitoring Group: Bills since 2006 and current Bills status.

Parliamentary Bills in Sabinet Legal since 2000

Sabinet Law provides news on new legislation.

Bills in Committee

The nitty-gritty of the wording of bills is debated in Parliamentary Committees. Individuals and organisations make submissions to the Committees. Ministers give briefings and there are deliberations on the bills. Committees complete reports to be submitted to the main Houses of Parliament. Minutes of the Committee meetings and copies of documents are recorded by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group.

Core Acts

Search Sabinet's Netlaw database for the current versions of the following national Acts with Regulations:

National Water Act 36 of 1998

Water Services Act 108 of 1997

Water Research Act 34 of 1971

You can also use University of Pretoria's open access database, Laws of South Africa: Consolidated Legislation for both acts and regulations.


Acts are the laws of the country. They are published in the Government gazette and then incorporated into the statute books, which are the consolidated volumes of laws. We have print volumes of acts @ G 68 FLA. We have the consolidated set of Statutes of the Republic of South Africa, classified and annotated since 1910, and the annual sets of Juta's statutes of South Africa.

Sabinet Law provides news on new legislation.

Acts are available online as single acts:

South Africa Government Online since 1991

Parliament since 1993

Sabinet Legal Government Gazettes since 1994

Sabinet Legal Retrospective Government Gazettes (1910 to 1993)

Acts as amended and current are available in consolidated databases:

Sabinet Legal Netlaw


University of Pretoria. Laws of South Africa: Consolidated Legislation


Verbatim records of the proceedings of Parliament are published as Debates; also know as Hansard. The Debates (Hansard) are available on Parliament's website from June 1999 to date and on that of the Parliamentary Monitoring Group from 2008 to date.

We have print volumes of the Debates (Hansard) from 1910 to 2013, when they ceased publication.

G 68 D.ASSE South Africa. Parliament. National Assembly. Debates of the National Assembly (Hansard)
G 68 D.PROV South Africa Parliament National Council of Provinces. Debates of the National Council of Provinces : (Hansard)


Budlender, Geoff. Fundamental Principles and Objectives for a New Water Law in South Africa : Report to the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry of the Water Law Review Panel. Pretoria: Dept. of Water Affairs and Forestry, 1996. Shelf no. G 68 E.WATE.96.FUND

Burger, Alewyn, and Heather MacKay. A Study of Roman Water Law, with Specific Reference to Water Allocations and Prior Appropriation  Gezina, South Africa: Water Research Commission, 2006. Shelf no. G 68 JWRC TT 279/06

Chikozho, Claudious. A Compendium of the South African Water Law Review Post-1994.  Gezina [South Africa: Water Research Commission, 2018. Shelf no. G 68 JWRC SP 127/18 & GZCD 68 JWRC SP 127/18

Hall, C. G. Report of the Commission of Enquiry Concerning the Water Laws of the Union. Pretoria: Government Printer, 1952. Shelf no. G 68 EUG 11/1952

South Africa. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Water Law Implementation Process : a Strategic Plan for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to Facilitate the Implementation of Catchment Management in South Africa.  Pretoria: Water Research Commission, 1998. Shelf no. G 68 JWRC KV 107/98

South Africa. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. [Water Law]. Pretoria: [Department of Water Affairs and Forestry], 1996. Portfolio. Shelf no. G 68 E.WATE.96.WATE

South Africa. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Water Services Authority Legislative Handbook  Pretoria?: Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2007. Shelf no. G 68 E.WATE.07.WATE

South Africa. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. You and Your Water Rights : South African Law Review : a Call for Public Response.  [Pretoria: The Dept.], 1995. Shelf no. G 68 EWP B/1995

South African Law Reform Commission. Statutory Law Revision : Legislation Administered by the Department of Water and Sanitation.  Pretoria, South Africa: South African Law Reform Commission, 2016. Shelf no. G 68 JLC 25 (DP 151)

Uys, Maritza. Water Law of South Africa 1912-1998.  Gezina, South Africa: Water Research Commission], 2008. Shelf no. G 68 JWRC KV 203/08 & GZCD 68 JWRC KV 203/08



Wilkinson, M. (Melanie). Benchmarking South Africa’s National Water Policy and Legislation and the Development of a Framework for Monitoring the Progress of Current and Future Water Policy and Legislation : Review of South Africa’s Water Policy and Legislation : Report to the Water Research Commission.  Gezina, South Africa: Water Research Commission, 2018. (Report no. 2417/1/17) Shelf no. G 68 JWRC 2417/1/17