Large parts of South Africa are water-stressed and, owing to historical economic development having been driven by the discovery and mining of minerals, followed by related industrial development, development in South Africa has not always followed the availability of water. The country’s largest city, Johannesburg, developed along the outcrop of the gold-bearing rocks of the Witwatersrand, far from any major water source. Surface water is the major water source for much of the country and water is managed on the basis of water management areas, based on surface water catchment areas. As more and more water is allocated to users and the environment, mining is seen increasingly as a user and polluter of water. Availability of water is critical for new mining projects, its scarcity in some instances preventing the development of new mining areas. The impact of mining on water, both as a user of a scarce resource and a polluter, is attracting ever greater attention in South Africa, and faces growing challenges in the future.