This obligation on the part of the state thus created a conclusive link between public administration and entrenched fundamental rights. This link clearly stems from section 8(1), of the Constitution, read in conjunction with section 195(1) and (2) which provide that the Constitution’s Chapter 2 on fundamental rights shall bind all public institutions and shall apply to all public administrative functions performed. Section 8 therefore confirmed that, when public administration is exercised, such functions should be exercised with adherence to the provisions of, and the principles contained in the set of entrenched fundamental rights.

As such, state owned enterprises such the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency are the de facto face of the state as they are at the frontlines of realising the rights contained in the Bill of Rights. To this end, the National Water Act (Water Act) which was adopted in 1998, is the principle legal instrument relating to water resources. It transformed South Africa’s water legal framework by setting forth a comprehensive agenda for water resource management. The Act is built on several guiding principles that aim to remedy past inequalities in the face of water distribution and further the realisation of the right of access to water. The preamble to the Water Act embraces the human rights principles found in the Constitution, recognising that “the ultimate aim of water resource management is to achieve the sustainable use of water for the benefit of all users.” The main purpose of the Act is to “ensure that the nation’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in ways which take into account amongst other factors: meeting the basic human needs of present and future generations; promoting equitable access to water; promoting the efficient, sustainable and beneficial use of water in the public interest; facilitating social and economic development; and protecting aquatic and associated ecosystems and their biological diversity.

A bigger question arises however – namely – how can organs of state, public enterprises and administration in every sphere of government interpret the Constitution into their strategic planning purposes? In other words, what meaning can be garnered from the above Constitutional provisions which would serve as the cornerstone for leadership of state institutions?