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uMngeni-uThukela Water is a state-owned entity (SOE) that came into existence on the 1st of July 2023, through the incorporation of Mhlathuze Water into Umgeni Water. The entity provides water and related services to other water services institutions and other customers in its gazetted service area of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. The entity operates in accordance with the Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997) and the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999), amongst others, and is categorised as a National Government Business Enterprise.

uMngeni-uThukela Water reports directly to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), through the Board (Accounting Authority) and through its functionaries, the Chairperson of the Board and the Chief Executive. The Minister of Water and Sanitation is the Executive Authority for Water Boards. Technical Support Services plays an important role in facilitating the efficient delivery and implementation of infrastructure projects by ensuring that social engagement strategies are effected and environmental permits and licences are in place, thus ensuring that the organisation realises the company’s vision, strategy and mandate. The primary activities of uMngeni-uThukela Water, as pronounced in section 29 of the Water Services Act, is to provide water services (water supply and sanitation services) to other water services institutions in its service area.

In addition, section 30 of the Water Services Act, enables uMngeni-uThukela Water to undertake other activities, provided they do not impact negatively on the entity’s ability to perform its primary activity.  They include:

  • Providing management services, training and other support services to other water services institutions, in order to promote co-operation in the provision of water services;
  • Supplying untreated or non-potable water to end-users who do not use the water for household purposes;
  • Providing catchment management services to or on behalf of the responsible authority;
  • With the approval of the water services authority having jurisdiction in the area-supplying water directly for industrial use, accepting industrial effluent and acting as a water services provider to consumers;
  • Providing water services in joint venture with water services authorities; and
  • Performing water-conservation functions.

In order to ensure that infrastructure projects are not detrimental to the environment, several environmental legislative components need to be considered and adhered to. The following key legislation is relevant to infrastructure project and all requirements pertaining to these acts must be considered prior to implementation:

  • National Environmental Management Act (Act No 107 of 1998) (as amended); and Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (2014 as amended);
  • National Water Act (Act No 36 of 1998);
  • National Environmental Management: Waste Act (NEM: WA) (Act 59 of 2008);
  • National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA) (Act 25 of 1999); and
  • Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) (Act 28 of 2002).

All relevant environmental conditions prescribed in terms of environmental legislation must be appropriately and adequately considered during the planning, design, construction, operation and decommissioning phases of a project.