On 28 January 2021, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment published the National Waste Management Strategy, 2020 (“National Waste Management Strategy”) in terms of section 6 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008 (“NEM:WA”). The strategy is based on the update and revision of the 2011 version and is said to be built on the success and lessons learnt from the previous version. The strategy aims to provide a framework for government policy and strategic interventions for the waste sector and is aligned and responsive to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Agenda 2030 adopted by all United Nations (UN) member states. It is also aligned and responsive to South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP): Vision 2030 which is our country’s specific response to, and integration of the SDGs into our overall socio-economic development plans.
The 2020 version focusses on the introduced concept of a “circular economy” aiming to reduce environmental impacts by re-use & recycling of processed materials. The reasoning to have materials that would end up as waste disposed, reprocessed rather than extracting raw materials again, is at the core of the concept towards sustainable development. The concept and strategy are further expanded on through the three strategic pillars:
The strategy further continues with key interventions towards among other, institutional arrangements, norms and standards, specific measures for problem areas, licensing, remediation, the national waste information system, compliance, enforcement and stakeholder engagement.
The full strategy can be obtained from the following link: