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Fresh Water Sources Pollution: A Human Related Threat To Fresh Water Security in South Africa

Author

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  • Maxwell Constantine Chando Musingafi
  • Tom Tom

Abstract

This paper is mainly an overview of the challenge of human induced water sources pollution in South Africa. The major line of argument in this paper is that the rapidly growing population, urbanisation, agricultural, industrial and mining activity in South Africa pose a threat to availability, accessibility and quality of potable water resources in the country. This is more acute in the major centres of economic activity; for example in the Gauteng Province, where the Johannesburg and the Tshwane metropolitan municipalities are situated. To make matters worse these cities are located upstream of the water system drainage in the catchment area and effluent disposal is directly into the raw water reservoirs posing serious threat to both human life and the ecosystem. The government of South Africa has to take pollution control policies and their implementation as a serious governance issue. The country has to take a clue from the developed countries where pollution-control laws have helped to clean up rivers, lakes and streams. Our final conclusion is that, in South Africa, like anywhere else in the world, freshwater management and governance is of critical importance to avoid artificial freshwater shortages. The supply and demand for water, and therefore its abundance or scarcity, depend significantly on the management of the resource and its use. Poor management may create functional water scarcity even in a country with seemingly abundant supplies of fresh water.

Suggested Citation

  • Maxwell Constantine Chando Musingafi & Tom Tom, 2014. "Fresh Water Sources Pollution: A Human Related Threat To Fresh Water Security in South Africa," Journal of Public Policy & Governance, Research Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 1(2), pages 72-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:rss:jnljpg:v1i2p3
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