Water Use Licences- 90 day turnaround timeframes (Pending Gazette)

Posted on 19 May 2021

While not gazetted, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has said to have revised the regulations governing the procedural requirements for water-use licence applications (WULAs). This followed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration in his State of the Nation Address in February 2021 that water-use licences should have a turnaround time of 90 days, effective April 1. All applications submitted from 1 April 2021, will be assessed and processed within 90 Days. Applications submitted before 1 April 2021, will still be processed according to the 300 Days turn-around time.


All applications will still follow the Electronic Water Use Licence Application and Authorisation System (e-WULAAS) however the process has been reduced from 300 days to 90 days.


ENVASS (Pty) Ltd has had numerous engagements with DWS Officials over the past week to understand the process in order to inform our clients. The new DWS process includes two phases:


  • Phase 1: A pre-application engagement with the applicant, compilation of the required technical reports and public participation; and
  • Phase 2: Submission of the water use licence application with associated technical reports. DWS will be afforded 90 days from the time of submission of the application to screen and either accept or reject the application.


There will also be a reconfiguration of the e-WULAAS (the online application portal) to align to the revised process. Furthermore, the Department has and will undertake workshops aimed at capacitating the Regions, Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and applicants on the new process.


Environmental Assurance (ENVASS) (Pty) Ltd has a team of dedicated and experienced professionals to assist clients with their WULAs. Feel free to contact us for quotes via info@envass.co.za .



Electronic Water Use Licence Application and Authorisation System (e-WULAAS), obtained from: https://www.dws.gov.za/ewulaas/

Odendaal, N (June 2020) ‘’DWS promises 90-day water-use licensing process’’, obtained from https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/dws-promises-90-day-water-use-licensing-process-2020-06-19

Mochotlhi D (2021) ‘’Implications of the 2021State of the Nation Address for the Department of Water and Sanitation’’, obtained from: https://static.pmg.org.za/210223SONA_IMPLICATIONS_FOR_DWS_V5-_21FEB2021.pdf