The date of the hearing of the appeals in the matter concerning the transferability of water use entitlements has been announced.

The Registrar of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has set 20 August 2021 as the date for the hearing of appeals in three matters (Casper Johannes Lotter N.O. & Others v The Minister of Water and Sanitation & Others; Francois Johannes Gerhardus Wiid N.O. & Others v The Minister of Water and Sanitation & Others; and South African Association for Water Users Associations & Others v The Minister of Water and Sanitation & Others).

The appeals follow the judgment by the Pretoria High Court on 19 June 2020 in which the court ruled in favour of the department of water and sanitation’s view that transfers of water use entitlements are not permissible due to it amounting to the privatisation of water. (In terms of the National Water Act, South Africa’s water resources belong to all people, with the minister of water affairs acting as public trustee thereof.)

Agri SA (who is financing the Lotter and Wiid matters from its Voluntary Water Fund) and the South African Association for Water Users Associations (SAAFWUA) are of the view that the provisions of section 25 of the National Water Act are vital with respect to the efficient use of water. Section 25(1) of the Act allows for the transfer of entitlements to use irrigation water from one person to another and from one property to another under strict conditions by water management institutions. Section 25(2) of the Act allows the surrendering of a specific water use entitlement from the same resource in respect of other land in order to facilitate a water use licence application.

“Agri SA is of the view that the determination of this matter, which has been ongoing since 2018 and which has had a stifling effect on the agricultural sector, is long overdue. We look forward to the matter being argued before the Supreme Court of Appeal,” says Janse Rabie, head of Agri SA’s Natural Resource Centre of Excellence.


Janse Rabie Agri SA: Head of Natural Resources (C) 076 451 9601

Willem Symington Agri SA: Chairperson Natural Resources (C) 084 592 7474