A Guide to Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Licence Applications in South Africa

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) regulates water use in South Africa. If your activity involves water use, you might need a license from the DWS. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the application process.

Do I Need a Licence?

Before diving into the application process, it’s crucial to determine if you actually need a license. Here are some resources to help you decide:

  • National Water Act (Act No. 36 of 1998): Review this act to understand its legal framework regarding water use. You can find it on the DWS website [invalid URL removed].
  • General Authorisations: The DWS issues General Authorisations for specific water uses with minimal impact. Check the DWS website (https://www.dws.gov.za/ewulaas/WUL.aspx) to see if your activity falls under a General Authorisation, which would simplify the process.

Types of Water Use Licences:

If a General Authorisation doesn’t apply, you’ll need to submit a formal licence application. The DWS issues different licence categories based on the water use:

  • Water Abstraction Licence: Needed for removing water from a source (e.g., borehole, river).
  • Waste Discharge Licence: Required for discharging waste into water resources.
  • Stream Diversion Licence: Necessary for diverting water flow.
  • Dam Safety Licence: For constructing or operating a dam.
  • Inland Vessel Registration: Needed for operating a vessel on a waterway.

The Application Process:

The application process can be complex, so it’s recommended to consult a water law specialist for guidance. However, here’s a general overview:

  1. Identify the Correct Licence Type: Determine the specific licence category you require based on your water use activity.
  2. Gather Information: You’ll need detailed information about your proposed water use, including:
    • Location of the activity
    • Volume and source of water to be used
    • Purpose of water use
    • Potential impacts on the water resource
    • Mitigation measures to minimize negative impacts
  3. Complete Application Form: Download the relevant licence application form from the DWS website (https://www.dws.gov.za/Documents/BROCHURE_Water%20Use%20Lisence_Outer.pdf). Fill out the form accurately and comprehensively.
  4. Supporting Documentation: Attach necessary documents such as:
    • Property ownership or lease agreement for the location
    • Technical reports on water use and potential impacts
    • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) if required for your project
    • Payment of the application fee
  5. Submit Application: Submit your completed application, along with all supporting documents, to the relevant DWS regional office. The DWS website (https://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/have-your-say-revised-water-use-licence-regulations) lists contact details for regional offices.

Additional Considerations:

  • Processing times can vary depending on the complexity of your application.
  • The DWS might request additional information or clarification during the process.
  • Public participation processes might be required for certain projects.

Resources:

  • DWS Website: The Department of Water and Sanitation website offers valuable resources on water use licences, including application forms and guidelines: https://www.dws.gov.za/ewulaas/WUL.aspx
  • Water Law Specialist: Consulting a water law specialist can provide valuable guidance throughout the application process.

Remember, responsible water use is crucial for South Africa’s future. By following these steps and seeking professional advice if needed, you can navigate the DWS licensing process efficiently and contribute to sustainable water management.


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.