South Africa is one of only twelve countries in the world where the tap water is safe to drink. Tap water is palatable and safe however, bottled mineral water is widely available if preferred. In remote areas, it is advisable to confirm the safety of tap water for drinking.
It is recommended that you do not drink water from downstream dams, streams and rivers as these may be prone to waterborne diseases. The water in mountain streams is however, usually pure and refreshing.
In the Cape, particularly, the water contains humic acid, which stains it the colour of diluted Coca-Cola - this is absolutely harmless, and the water is wonderful. You may also find this colouring in tap water in some areas. It's fine - it just looks a bit weird in the bath.