5 Implementation mechanisms for the Waste Strategy

5.1 Roles and responsibilities

The implementation of the NWMS requires the identification of the different role-players and the roles and responsibilities that each are expected to play.  There are three broad categories of role-players which are considered, namely the state, the private sector and civil society.

5.1.1 The role of the state

The state is comprised of three spheres of government, namely national, provincial and local government, and organs of state, including parastatals and agencies, the executive and the legislature.  The three distinct roles of the state are:

  • Policy making functions that encompass the establishment of norms, standards and targets, the system of planning for service expansion and improvement, as well as coordination and policy development activities.
  • Regulation, which includes the preparation of regulations, listing and licensing of waste management activities, compliance and enforcement, and declaration of priority wastes.
  • Waste service delivery, including the collection, transport and disposal of domestic waste, which is a municipal function.

As a principle of good governance, there should be separation of the regulatory role, particularly in terms compliance monitoring and enforcement, from the policy-making and service-provision roles. This is particularly important in instances where a department is responsible both for the delivery of waste management services and the overall regulation of the waste management sector.

The application of norms and standards, and the regulation of waste management activities, needs to be applied across both public and private sector providers equitably. Without clear role separation, it will not be possible to ensure unfettered and meaningful regulation of waste management activities.

5.1.2 Vertical division of responsibilities

Informed by the Constitutional assignment of powers and functions to the different spheres of government, the Waste Act assigns clear responsibilities to each sphere of government in relation to waste management activities.

Local government is responsible for the provision of waste management services, which includes waste removal, waste storage and waste disposal services, as per Schedule 5b of the Constitution. Municipalities are obliged to designate a waste management officer from their administration to co-ordinate matters pertaining to waste management. They must also submit an integrated waste management (IWMP) plan to the MEC for approval.  The IWMP needs to be integrated into municipal integrated development plans (IDP), and the municipal annual performance report must include information on the implementation of the IWMP.

At their discretion, municipalities may set local waste service standards for waste separation, compacting of waste, management and disposal of solid waste, amongst others. Local standards must be aligned with any provincial and national norms and standards where these exist. In particular, where municipal by-laws on waste disposal exist, these must be aligned with Chapter 4 Part 6 of the Waste Act as described in Section 3.9 of the strategy. Municipalities may also require transporters of waste to register on a list of waste transporters.

Provincial government is obliged to promote and ensure the implementation of the NWMS and national norms and standards. Similarly to local government, it must designate a provincial waste management officer responsible for co-ordinating matters pertaining to waste management in the province. It must also prepare an IWMP and prepare an annual performance report on its implementation, both of which must be submitted to the Minister for approval. The provincial government is also deemed the primary licensing authority for waste activities for which the Minister is not deemed the licensing authority. Provinces have a number of discretionary powers, some of which may only be exercised in consultation with the Minister. These powers include:

  • The setting of provincial norms and standards.
  • Declaring a priority waste.
  • Listing waste management activities.
  • Registering waste transporters.
  • Requesting the preparation of industry waste management plans.
  • Identification of contaminated land.
  • Establishing a provincial waste information system.

To provide a nationally harmonised regulatory environment for waste management, the provinces should only exercise these discretionary powers where clear and compelling reasons exist to do so, and should do so in consultation with DEA.

National government and in particular DEA is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the Waste Act is implemented and that the various provisions are harnessed in the most appropriate and effective way. The Waste Act specifies various mandatory and discretionary provisions that DEA is required to address.

In terms of mandatory provisions, DEA is responsible for:

  • Establishing the National Waste Management Strategy.
  • Setting national norms and standards.
  • Establishing and maintaining a National Contaminated Land Register.
  • Establishing and maintaining a National Waste Information System.
  • Preparing and implementing a National Integrated Waste Management Plan.

The Minister is the licensing authority with respect to hazardous waste, international obligations, activities performed by a provincial environmental authority or statutory body other than a municipality, or an activity that takes place in more than one authority or transverses international boundaries. The Minister must designate a waste management officer from the DEA administration to co-ordinate matters pertaining to waste management.

DEA has numerous discretionary responsibilities that it may invoke if required. These include:

  • Developing national norms and standards for waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and waste recovery.
  • Setting standards for waste tariffs.
  • Declaring priority wastes.
  • Identifying products for the application of extended producer responsibility.
  • The listing of waste management activities.
  • Requesting the preparation of industry waste management plans.
  • Registration of transporters of waste.
  • Identifying land that may be contaminated for investigation.

The above summaries provide an overview of the main responsibilities directly provided for in the Waste Act.  It is evident that the allocated roles and responsibilities need to be seen as elements within an integrated system, with a cascading of roles according to the level at which they are most logically performed.

5.1.3 Concomitant responsibilities

There are several areas of concomitant or shared responsibility between the different spheres of government. The mandatory and discretionary responsibilities are set out in the following tables:

Function Responsibility Comment
Table 10: Mandatory shared responsibilities
Section 9(4)
Support to municipalities
Both national and provincial government are expected to support and strengthen the municipality’s ability or right to perform its functions in relation to waste management activities. Section 5.7 addresses capacity-building requirements.
Section 10(1)(2)(3)
Waste Management Officers
Each sphere of government is required to appoint Waste Management Officers Section 5.2 describes the system of Waste Management Officers
Integrated Waste Management Plans
Each sphere of government is required to prepare an integrated waste management plan Section 5.3 describes the system of integrated waste management planning
Section 43.(1) and Section 43(2)
Licensing authority

The MEC is the licensing authority except for those activities for which the Minister is deemed the licensing authority.

The Minister is the licensing authority where the activity involves hazardous waste, international obligations, is performed by a provincial department of environmental affairs or other statutory bodies with the exclusion of municipalities, an activity that takes place in more than one province or traverses international boundaries, two or more activities at a facility where the Minister is a licensing authority of one activity.

Section 3.5 addresses the requirement for the delegation of the licensing role in favour of integrated licensing especially where multiple licensing requires consent from different spheres of government.


Function Responsibility Comment
Table 11: Discretionary shared responsibilities
Section 9 The Minister or MEC or municipality may set standards, other than those that are mandatory.  
Section 14(1) The Minister or MEC may declare a priority waste. Section 3.6 addresses priority waste.
Section 16(4) The Minister or MEC may issue regulations to provide guidance on how to discharge this general duty of care, or identify specific requirements that must be given effect to.  
Section 19(1) and Section 19(3) The Minister or MEC may publish a list of waste management activities. Section 3.5 addresses the listing of waste management activities.
Section 25
Duties of persons transporting waste
The Minister, MEC or municipality may require any person or category of persons who transport waste for gain to register with the relevant waste management officer in the Department. Section 3.8 addresses the registration of transporters.
Section 29
Industry Waste Management Plans
Both the Minister and the MEC may require the preparation of Industry Waste Management Plans. Section 3.4 addresses the development of Industry Waste Management Plans
Section 36 - Section 40
Land contamination
The Minister or MEC are responsible for a whole range of actions in relation to land contamination and remediation. Section 2.7 addresses remediation.

The exercising of these concomitant powers will be addressed within the cooperative governance mechanisms described in Sections 5.2 and 5.8.

5.1.4 Horizontal assignment of responsibilities

In considering the horizontal assignment of roles, it is important to understand how the provisions of the Waste Act interface with and build on the regulatory provisions of other pieces of related legislation. This policy harmonisation exercise also needs to draw on the Inter-governmental Relations Framework.

Department of Trade and Industry: the dti has a crucial role to play in relation to the overall system of industry regulation, and the utilisation of various mechanisms and capacities within the dti for implementing the Waste Act. The implementation of the system of norms and standards will require the support of the Technical Infrastructure under the dti, as described in Section 3.2. This system will be used to determine standards for products in relation to packaging and recycling as well as the provision of waste services, and ensure their measurement and certification. In order to achieve this, the waste management sector will need to be identified as a lead sector by the dti.

Other issues that require the involvement of the dti include the declaration of priority wastes and implementation of EPR schemes; the implications of the Consumer Protection Act for waste management; the promotion of recycling schemes and the implications of competition policy for the provision and sub-contracting of waste services by municipalities.

National Treasury: The National Treasury has a crucial role to play in managing the overall system of taxation, and in implementing taxation measures that support the goals and objectives of the NWMS. National Treasury must also be consulted where the economic implications of measures with respect to a priority waste are potentially significant. National Treasury plays an important role in determining budget allocations for waste management functions at national level, and in addressing the fiscal mechanisms required for implementation of waste services and accessing of grants.

South African Revenue Services: In terms of the prohibition and restrictions on the import, export and selling of priority wastes, it is important that declarations of priority wastes are aligned with the product codes maintained by SARS in the Schedules to the Customs and Excise Acts.

Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs: National and provincial government must provide support to municipalities with respect to their executive responsibilities, including delivery of services.  This support needs to be co-ordinated with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.  The Department also has an important role to play in ensuring that the Municipal Infrastructure Grant can be accessed for the development and upgrading of municipal landfill sites, many of which are not compliant or unlicensed. The Department must provide guidance and oversight to municipalities and the provinces with respect to the incorporation of Integrated Waste Management Plans into Integrated Development Plans.

Department of Water Affairs:  There are three important areas that require the input and co-operation from the Department of Water Affairs, as they form concurrent mandates, namely:

  • Integrated waste disposal licenses that include water use licenses.
  • Contaminated land and its remediation.
  • The management and disposal of sewage sludge emanating from wastewater treatment facilities.

Other government departments that have important role to play in implementing the NWMS include:

  • The Department of International Relations, which must lead South Africa’s engagement in multilateral forums that address sustainable development and waste management issues.
  • The Department of Mineral Resources plays a key role in regulating waste management in the mining sector, which includes addressing waste management issues in relation to residue deposits and stockpiles which fall outside the ambit of the Waste Act, and the remediation of land contaminated by mining activities.
  • The Department of Health has an important role to play in addressing health care risk waste and in advising DEA and provincial departments on the appropriate standards and measures to be applied to the sector.

5.1.5 The role of industry

With respect to industry, the NWMS envisages an important role for industry within a co-regulatory approach to achieving the objectives of the Act. The primary instrument for achieving this vision is the Industry Waste Management Plan. Private sector representative bodies have an important role to play in ensuring that the provisions of the Act are understood, implemented, and complied with by business and industry. The uptake of cleaner technology practices will also be a necessary step in the process of achieving waste minimisation.

Private service providers play key roles in all stages of waste management, including in waste service delivery. An expansion of waste services to unserviced communities will require municipalities to explore alternative service delivery mechanisms, including public private partnerships, and the private sector is encouraged to actively engage in making universal service provision a reality. The private sector should also respond creatively to new technologies in the fields of waste to energy conversion and hazardous waste disposal, and establish capacity in these areas as technologies become commercially viable.

5.1.6 The role of civil society

NGOs, non-profit organisations, community based organisations, cooperatives and trade unions play important roles in all phases of the waste hierarchy, including in recycling initiatives and delivery of waste management services. A number of the interventions proposed in this strategy will aim to reinforce the work of non-profit organisations within their sectors. Civil society formations are encouraged to continue to engage with the regulatory authorities in the various public participation processes that are embarked upon in the development and implementation of the provisions of the Act. Furthermore, the role of citizen oversight, particularly in relation to the delivery of waste services, should be factored into the design of the provision of these services. As discussed in S5.6, education, advocacy and awareness-raising initiatives are required to ensure that civil society fulfils this role effectively.

5.2 System of Waste Management Officers

The Waste Act creates a specialized system of officials, referred to as Waste Management Officers (WMOs), who are charged with the broad responsibility of coordinating waste management matters at each level of government. This system addresses the historical fragmentation of waste management functions within government by ensuring that a dedicated authority is responsible for implementing policy and regulations in terms of the Waste Act.

A WMO must be designated in writing by the appropriate authority at each sphere of government - by the Minister at national level, the MEC at provincial level and the Mayor at local level. 

The Act states that WMOs must co-ordinate their activities with other waste management activities in the manner set out in the NWMS, or in terms of a notice published by the Minister in the Gazette.

The Department has produced guidelines regarding the appointment of WMOs and the role, powers, profile and rank of the WMOs.  These guidelines need to be read in conjunction with the National Co-ordination Plan for the Implementation of the Waste Act and its Regulations. 

The definition of the roles of WMOs at each level of government is informed by the responsibilities and duties assigned to that sphere of government in terms of the Waste Act and the NWMS, as well as the specific powers assigned to WMOs in terms of the Waste Act. How WMOs fulfil their roles and duties will be influenced by their status and profile, their positioning within their respective level of government, and the institutional mechanisms created to effect the implementation of the Waste Act.

In designating specific responsibilities to the WMOs, an important consideration is the distinction between regulatory functions, policy making functions, and service-delivery functions. In order for the WMO to be able to effectively ensure that services are delivered to the required standard and that the provisions of the Act are adhered to, they must have an independent regulatory role. This independent regulatory function does not mean that the system of WMOs is independent of government, but rather that WMOs be located in a separate functional division that enables them to retain oversight over the implementation of the provisions of the Act. This is particularly important for ensuring adherence to the national system of norms and standards, which are fundamental to achieving the objectives of the Waste Act.

The realisation of this independent regulatory function will determine where the WMOs are located in their respective organisations, what functions they can perform, and their lines of accountability and reporting. For this reason, at local government level WMOs should not be located within the waste services or engineering department, but rather in the Municipal Manager’s office or a separate environmental regulatory component. Their duties should be limited to the regulatory aspects of the Act, whilst service-delivery should be fulfilled by other waste management personnel.

The Act assigns specific regulatory powers to the National WMO and Provincial WMOs. In terms of section 58(1) they may request the appointment of waste management control officers by holders of waste management licenses, and in terms of section 66(2) they may require the preparation of waste impact reports when waste management licenses are being reviewed.

The responsibilities of the national WMO are as follows:

  • Chairperson of the National Waste Forum.
  • Provision of advisory support to the Minister in relation to declaration of priority waste, EPR, and mandatory Industry Waste Management Plans.
  • Sorting out issues related to co-operative governance.
  • Addressing overlapping mandates, particularly at national and provincial level.
  • Stakeholder management in relation to Waste Act implementation.
  • Liaison with national EMI compliance monitoring activities.
  • National IWMP: alignment of planning and reporting cycles.
  • Capacity building in relation to Waste Act implementation.
  • Formulation and oversight of Waste Act implementation plan.

The responsibilities of the provincial WMO are as follows:

  • Advisory support to the MEC.
  • Sorting out issues related to co-operative governance.
  • Stakeholder management in relation to Waste Act implementation.
  • Liaison with provincial EMI compliance monitoring activities in the province.
  • Provincial IWMP: alignment of planning and reporting cycles.
  • Capacity building in relation to Waste Act implementation.

The provincial WMO reports to the provincial Head of Department. The responsibilities of the local WMOs are as follows:

  • Stakeholder management in relation to implementation of the Waste Act.
  • Liaison with EMI compliance monitoring activities in the municipality.
  • Municipal and local IWMP: alignment of planning and reporting cycles.
  • Capacity building in relation to Waste Act implementation.
  • Monitoring adherence to norms and standards in the delivery of waste services.

5.2.1 Relationship between WMOs and EMIs

The Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI), which is described in greater detail in Section 5.4, is responsible for compliance and enforcement of the provisions of the Waste Act. As part of their regulatory function, the WMOs have an important role to play in supporting the EMIs with compliance monitoring, which will require a close working relationship between the WMOs and the Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI). The greater the co-operation between the WMO and the EMI, the more effective the execution of the compliance monitoring function will be.

Currently the EMI operates primarily on the basis of reactive and strategic compliance monitoring, with proactive monitoring of secondary importance.  In terms of the reactive monitoring, the EMIs will inform the WMOs of reactive monitoring initiatives to assist the WMOs in identifying areas of non-compliance and as a means of developing longer term support interventions, which will include brokering relationships with affected parties and finding consensual ways of addressing non-compliance.

Cooperation with the WMOs will free up resources in the EMI to support more proactive compliance monitoring. The WMOs will also provide guidance to the EMI to assist it in identifying priorities for strategic monitoring of activities that present a significant threat to health and the environment. A further area of co-operation is in the preparation of Waste Impact reports, provided for in terms of Section 66 of the Waste Act. Under certain circumstances, both can request a waste impact report and it is recommended that this be done in consultation and co-operation with each other.

5.3 Integrated Waste Management Planning

An important public sector implementation mechanism established by the Waste Act is the provision for an interlocking set of national, provincial and local Integrated Waste Management Plans (IWMPs). National and provincial departments responsible for waste management and all municipalities must prepare IWMPs in terms of section 11 of the Waste Act.  IWMPs must be developed in a consultative manner, and municipalities are required to follow the prescriptions of section 29 of the Municipal Systems Act.  There is a tiered system for approving IWMPs, with national and provincial IWMPs being submitted to the Minister for approval, and municipal IWMPs to the MEC for approval, whose responsibility it is to ensure alignment with other relevant plans.  The MEC may also request amendments to an IWMP and enforce adherence to the planning procedures set out in the Waste Act. 

To ensure the mainstreaming of IWMPs at every level of government:

  • National and provincial government may integrate their respective IWMPs into their broader development or environmental plans.
  • Municipalities are obliged to integrate their IWMPs into their Integrated Development Plans.

IWMPs are the initial strategic planning step in the overall planning and accountability cycle for government. At any given moment within a financial year, government will be busy with a number of such planning and accountability cycles - preparing strategic planning and budgeting for the coming year, implementing the plans previously formulated for the current year, and reporting on performance for the previous financial year. The table below shows how the IWMP process links with the planning and accountability cycle for all tiers of government.

Accountability cycle Accountability documents Performance information
Table 12: Linkage between IWMPs and accountability cycle of government
Strategic planning
  • Strategic plans
  • IDP’s
  • IWMP’s
  • Indicate outputs
  • Specify performance Indicators
Operational planning and budgeting
  • Operational plans budgets and performance agreements
  • Municipal budgets
  • Service delivery and budget implementation plan and performance agreements
  • Set performance targets
  • Indicate available resources
  • Allocate responsibility
Implementation and in year reporting
  • Monthly budget reports and quarterly performance reports
  • Monthly budget statements
  • Mid-year budget and performance assessments
  • Report progress with implementation of plans and budgets
End year reporting
  • Annual reports
  • IWMP Annual performance reports
  • Report on performance against plans and budgets

The sequencing of IWMPs within the annual calendar for planning and reporting for each sphere of government is important. The primary building blocks of the waste planning system are municipal IWMPs, and it is at the municipal level that the concrete plans for extending waste services and implementing the waste hierarchy will be set out. The municipal IWMPs must be aligned with the overall IDP as legislated by the Municipal Systems Act. In terms of Section 25 of the MSA Act, each municipal council must, within a prescribed period after the start of its elected term, adopt a single, inclusive and strategic plan for the development of the municipality. This period has been set as one year after the commencement of its elected term in terms of subsequent regulations. Since local government elections happen on a five yearly basis, it logically follows that an IWMPs should cover a five year planning horizon, and should be comprehensively reviewed and readopted in terms of this planning cycle. The next local government elections will take place in 2011, which means that the next round of IDPs need to have been drawn up and adopted by 2012. In order for IWMPs to be incorporated timeously into IDPs and substantively influence the next planning cycle, it is important that municipal IWMPs are completed in all municipalities by June 2011 i.e. the end of the 2010/11 financial year for local government.

In order for provincial and national IWMPs to provide sufficient direction for municipal IWMPs, it is important that these are completed by March 2011 i.e. the end of the 2010/11 financial year for national and provincial government.

DEA has developed an action plan for the integrated waste management planning system, and in terms of this action plan DEA will promulgate and enforce regulations for integrated waste management planning, prepare guidelines for the development of the plans, and initiate awareness campaigns regarding the need for and approach to integrated waste management planning.

The Department has prepared a National Framework Guideline for the Development of Integrated Waste Management Planning (January 2009), primarily directed at provincial departments and municipalities. 

IWMPs need to be outcomes focused, and must include priorities, objectives, targets, and implementation and financing arrangements. The Waste Act specifically requires IWMPs to:

  • Set out priorities and objectives for waste management.
  • Establish targets for the collection, minimisation, re-use and recycling of waste.
  • Set out the approach to planning any new facilities for disposal and decommissioning existing waste disposal facilities.
  • Indicate the financial resources required for the IWMP.
  • Describe the implementation mechanisms for the IWMP.
  • For the national and provincial departments, the IWMPs must also set out how they intend to support municipalities to give effect to the objects of the Waste Act. 

As stipulated by Section 12 of the Waste Act an IWMP must at least contain a situation analysis that includes:

  • A description of the population and development profiles of the area to which the plan relates.
  • An assessment of the quantities and types of waste that are generated in the area.
  • A description of the services that are provided, or that are available, for the collection, minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery, treatment and disposal of waste.
  • The number of persons in the area who are not receiving waste collection services.

In the case of a municipal IWMP, it must address the delivery of waste management services to residential premises. When planning for domestic waste collection services it is important that the municipality consider the following criteria in selecting the appropriate waste management approach for a particular community:

  • Affordability: capital and operational costs; level of income within the community; and grants or subsidies available.
  • Accessibility: road infrastructure and conditions.
  • Level of education: literacy and awareness of the community to understand the principles of waste management.
  • On-site storage facilities: availability and suitability; and composition and volume of the waste.
  • Potential benefits: clean and healthy environment; and job creation and upliftment.
  • Available facilities and infrastructure: appropriate vehicles; and available expertise.
  • Distance to disposal site: transfer facility requirements.
  • Pollution potential: blocked sewers and stormwater canals; and illegal dumping and littering.

The development of IWMPs by municipalities, provinces and DEA is crucial to the success and roll out of integrated waste management in South Africa. The stark challenges of backlogs in the waste collection services, aging vehicles and equipment, growing human settlements and decreasing airspace in landfills, amongst others, mean that a coordinated approach by each sphere of government is required. The IWMPs provide the systematic framework in which these can be addressed, linked importantly to main stream budgeting and resource allocation, and performance monitoring and reporting systems.

5.4 Compliance and enforcement

Chapter 7 of the Waste Act addresses compliance and enforcement matters and stipulates the powers of the Minister in relation to the National Water Act’s provisions for:

  • Preventing and remedying the effects of pollution.
  • Rectifying contraventions of the Water Act.
  • Obtaining a high court interdict against any person contravening the Water Act.

Chapter 7, Section 66 of the Act provides for Waste Impact Reports which can be requested by EMIs in cases where a contravention of the Waste Act is suspected and by WMOs where a review of a waste management license is undertaken.

Section 67 of the Waste Act lists provisions of the Waste Act which constitute an offence if not complied with. The penalties for the offences are listed in section 68 of the Act.

Section 6(1)(e) of the Act requires that the NWMS provides approaches for securing compliance with the provisions of the Act, including ‘monitoring of compliance’. Effective capacity to undertake compliance monitoring and the concomitant enforcement action where required is essential for the achievement of the objectives of the Act.

5.4.1 Environmental Management Inspectorate

The primary arrangements for compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental legislation such as the Waste Act are provided by an amendment to the National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998 (NEMA), which came into effect on 1 May 2005. Chapter 7 of NEMA provides for Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs) to be designated by the Minister and MECs.

Since EMIs are situated at all three levels of government, the Department has drawn up a guideline to assist in the determination of the compliance monitoring and enforcement roles and responsibilities as set out in the Act. The Environmental Management Inspectorate is not a single enforcement unit and the national inspectorate has no power over provincial and local inspectors. Consequently a code of conduct harmonising their actions and approaches to compliance monitoring and enforcement has been prepared by DEA.

There are several key principles that have been used to inform the allocation of responsibilities.  A primary principle is that an institution cannot police itself.  Other principles include:

  • Where the Minister, in terms of the Act, exercises powers to issue orders and conditions, to require information and plans or to make requests, then the national department will undertake the compliance and enforcement activities.
  • Where the MEC, in terms of the Act, exercises powers to issue orders and set conditions, to request information and plans, then the provincial department will undertake the compliance and enforcement activities.
  • In circumstances where the Act regulates or controls issues that are typically covered by local by-laws and that fall within the competence of local government (e.g. public nuisance/cleansing), these issues will be dealt with by local government.
  • Where there are international implications (e.g. transboundary movement of waste) or where a matter traverses provincial/national boundaries, then the national department will be responsible for compliance and enforcement activities.

In relation to compliance and enforcement activities relating to licensing of waste management activities (section 43), the following is the general principle:

  • The national department has jurisdiction with respect to hazardous waste facilities.
  • The provincial departments have jurisdiction with respect to general waste facilities.

However, where a province has been given the authority to license hazardous waste management facilities, then the provincial authority will assume compliance monitoring and enforcement responsibilities associated with such a licensing function.

The following identifies the roles of the EMIs at each sphere of government:

  1. Local EMIs will work in conjunction with provincial and national EMIs to execute compliance activities in respect to waste management licenses (reacting to complaints and conducting routine inspections). In accordance with the principal that an institution cannot police itself, local EMIs are not expected to monitor the municipalities’ compliance.
  2. Provincial EMIs will monitor compliance with licenses for which the MEC is the licensing authority.  This will include monitoring compliance by municipalities. It may delegate monitoring activities to EMIs in municipality in which an illegal activity is taking place by a non-municipal entity and monitor compliance with the implementation of the IWMP.
  3. National EMIs will monitor compliance with licenses for which the Minister is the licensing authority. This will include monitoring compliance by the province with the provisions of the Act. It may also delegate monitoring activities to EMIs in a province in which an illegal activity is taking place and monitor compliance with the implementation of the provincial IWMP.

A Memorandum of Understanding will be developed between DEA and Provinces, and between Provinces and the respective municipalities to enable a co-operative working relationship and to facilitate the delegation of compliance monitoring activities from one sphere to another.

5.4.2 Compliance monitoring

The monitoring of compliance with the provisions of the Waste Act, authorisations issued in terms of the Act and other environmental legislation forms the foundation of the system of compliance and enforcement. While EMIs are the primary agents responsible for compliance, the gathering of intelligence relating to non-compliance is the responsibility of all agencies involved in implementation of the Waste Act. The Act does provide specific reporting tools to facilitate monitoring of compliance.

Compliance monitoring will be undertaken on both a reactive and proactive basis. Proactive compliance inspections, also known as strategic compliance and enforcement inspections, involve the prioritization of sites for inspection and physical inspections involving multi-disciplinary task teams. These will be informed by routine inspections and information derived from the reporting mechanisms described above. Reactive compliance inspections and investigations are triggered by reporting of a contravention of the Act.

Information for compliance monitoring will come from the following reporting mechanisms:

  1. Annual Performance Reports from each sphere of government, documenting the extent of the implementation of the IWMPs in each financial year. These reports must spell out the level of compliance with the plan and measures taken to secure compliance with waste management standards, and waste management monitoring activities. Furthermore, provinces must report on the extent to which municipalities have complied with the provincial IWMP and the reasons for non-compliance.
  2. Reports on implementation of Industry Waste Management Plans as provided by section 30(2)(k) of the Waste Act. The Act provides for the appointment of an independent assessor to verify the achievement of an IndWMP on an annual basis.
  3. Reports on compliance with the conditions of waste management licenses in terms of section 51(1)(k) of the Waste Act, including annual compliance reports prepared by independent SANAS-accredited assessors.
  4. Annual compliance reports prepared by independent SANAS-accredited assessors on adherence to the norms and standards for activities listed in terms of section 19(3) of the Waste Act, that have been defined as acceptable use and which do not require a license.
  5. Information from SAWIS, including information on any failure to fulfil SAWIS reporting requirements to SAWIS.
  6. A national waste hotline will be established and promoted. It will be accessible by telephone, via the Internet and by email, and will be available to the general public to report possible illegal and environmentally damaging waste activities. The hotline will be managed by the EMI, and will supplement and reinforce reporting mechanisms available to the public at municipal level and provincial level. Where appropriate, the hotline will take into account the “whistleblower” provisions in NEMA described in Section 3.9 of the NWMS.

Furthermore, waste management officers are empowered to appoint waste management control officers to ensure compliance with licensing terms and conditions and reporting non-compliance. The Act specifies that the “nature and size” of the waste management activity should determine whether a waste management control officer is required. In terms of the nature of the activity, it is in the public’s interest that waste management activities that involve hazardous waste on any significant scale be carefully monitored, and this would relate to most, if not all, licences issued in terms of Category B listed activities and to all facilities that deal with priority wastes.

5.4.3 Addressing non-compliance

When a possible contravention is identified, a waste impact report may be requested. Waste impact reports are a discretionary reporting instrument provided for by section 66 of the Act. Either an EMI or a WMO may request a waste impact report where there is a suspected contravention of the Act, license conditions, or exemption conditions that are likely to be detrimental to health or the environment. The findings of the waste impact report may trigger an enforcement procedure to correct the illegal activity. An enforcement procedure may also be triggered by the findings of the compliance monitoring activities described above, without a waste impact report.

In the event that a contravention is suspected, the enforcement procedure is initiated by the compilation of an audit, which is based on the conditions of the license, NEMA section 28 (duty of care) and NEMA section 30. A waste impact report may fulfil the function of this audit. The procedure followed once a problem has been confirmed by the waste impact report differs for organs of state and the private sector.

In the case of the private sector, once the audit report has been compiled and submitted to the offending party, the latter has 30 days in which to respond verbally. Thereafter an enforcement strategy is prepared, which may either follow a criminal route, or require the preparation of a pre-directive followed by a directive.  If the directive is not complied with, the matter becomes a criminal one.

In the absence of aggravating factors such as clear evidence of bad faith on the part of the offending party, the preferred route is always to achieve compliance rather than pursue prosecution.

Directives take the form of a compliance notice that is issued by the relevant EMI, which has to be done in writing in accordance with a prescribed procedure. NEMA Chapter 7 makes it a criminal offence to fail to comply with a compliance notice.

If a person fails to comply with a compliance notice issued by an EMI, the Minister or relevant MEC may revoke or change that person’s license, take the necessary remedial steps and recover the costs from the offender, and refer the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution.

In addition, NEMA Chapter 7 provides that all offences under NEMA or any specific environmental management act are now Schedule 1 offences under the Criminal Procedure Act, 55 of 1977.

The court convicting a person of an offence in terms of NEMA or the Waste Act can withdraw any license or authorisation under NEMA or the Waste Act if the rights under that license have been abused. The courts can also disqualify that person from obtaining a license or other authorisation for up to five years, and notify all other licensing authorities of this disqualification.

With respect to non-compliance by organs of state, the Constitutional provisions for cooperative governance require that every reasonable effort must be made to settle a dispute and all remedies to be applied before a matter is taken to court for resolution. The Constitution also governs the ability of a sphere of government to interfere in the affairs of another sphere of government. A Standard Operating Procedure has been developed consisting of an eleven step process that will eventually culminate in prosecution if the offending practice is not averted. The procedure also allows for the development of an action plan to address the illegal practice.

5.5 Mechanisms to give effect to international obligations

Section 1.4 of the NWMS outlined the Republic’s international obligations and related strategic challenges. This section will build on section 1.4, providing for mechanisms to give effect to South Africa’s international obligations.

Section 6.(1)(b) of the Waste Act requires that the NWMS establish “mechanisms, systems and procedures for giving effect to the Republic's obligations in terms of relevant international agreements”. There are various international agreements that relate to the issue of waste management, and to which South Africa has acceded. There are also various conventions and protocols of a non-binding nature that are nevertheless relevant to the issue of waste management. The main actions in relation to implementation of the international agreements relevant to the NWMS are summarised below.

5.5.1 The Basel Convention

As stated in Section 1.4, while South Africa has given effect to the provisions of the Basel Convention, there is currently no legal framework for implementing the Convention. DEA is however, developing MOUs with the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) which effectively address the provisions of the Basel Convention.

DEA is considering accession to the amendments to the Basel Convention which provide for absolute bans on the import and export of hazardous wastes. DEA is also currently developing a policy on imports and exports which will go some way to address this.

Together with the chemical conventions, the import and export control aspects of the convention are being addressed jointly by DEA and the dti through the issuing of permits via ITAC and the use of SARS tariff codes.

5.5.2 The Montreal Protocol

Although this convention does not deal specifically with waste management, the Waste Act will be used to declare chemicals controlled under the convention as priority wastes for ease of control.  A National Implementation Plan has been under development for some time and DEA will expedite the finalisation and publication of this plan.  DEA will also prepare a phase out plan for substances controlled under this protocol.

5.5.3 The Rotterdam Convention

Although this convention explicitly excludes waste, implementation of the convention may lead to the banning of listed chemicals, some of which may be included in stockpiles of obsolete pesticides that have been identified as a major waste management challenge.  The provisions of the Act for regulation in relation to the import and export of priority wastes clearly provide a potential mechanism for the implementation of the Rotterdam Act, as do the provisions for extended producer responsibility.

DEA has prepared an internal action plan for the implementation of this Convention, which will be reviewed, updated in the light of the mechanisms set out in the Waste Act, and published for public comment.

5.5.4 The Stockholm Convention

Although this convention does not deal specifically with waste management, it is likely that some of the chemicals controlled under this convention will be declared as priority wastes in order to assist with their control and phase out. A National Implementation Plan has been under development for some time and DEA with review and finalise this in the light of the recently promulgated Waste Act.

5.5.5 Various conventions dealing with dumping of waste at sea

Despite decades of regulation at the IMO and elsewhere, and the prohibition of the discharge and dumping of nearly all shipping waste streams, such wastes routinely find their way into the sea with little evidence that these discharges are diminishing. As indicated in Section 1.4, the disincentive to use the Port Reception Facilities (PRF) can be removed by incorporating the cost of PRF use into the general harbour dues which all ships pay. Such an approach is generally known as a “no-special-fee” system, and is already in place in other seas. Accordingly the Department of Transport, in conjunction with DEA, will investigate and implement a “no-special-fee” system in all South African ports, and actively promote this as a standard international requirement.

5.5.6 Strategic Approach to International Management of Chemicals

At the first review of the SAICM there was a strong focus on Extended Producer Responsibility issues, particularly with respect to nano-technology, chemicals in products, lead in paint, and hazardous chemicals arising from e-Waste. South Africa is often on the receiving end of sales or “donations” of electronic goods nearing the end of their productive life-cycle, which is tantamount to the import of e-Waste. This represents a dual challenge, both in terms of regulation of imports, and developing local processing capacity for e-Waste. The SAICM is considering the possibility of amending the Basel Convention to take cognisance of the situation with respect to the export of used electronic products to developing countries that do not have the technical capacity to safely process the e-Waste that inevitably results.

5.5.7 Coordination mechanisms

DEA and the dti have established the Interdepartmental Committee for the Sound Management of Chemicals to coordinate the implementation of national legislation and action plans for chemicals management that are aligned with international agreements and instruments. This committee integrates previously separate structures for coordination of activities relating to the Rotterdam Convention (the Chemical Review Committee) and the Stockholm Convention (POCROC).

The committee is comprised of the representatives from all affected government departments, including the SABS, ITAC, South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and South African Police Service (SAPS). The committee also convenes a multi-stakeholder forum that includes representatives from provincial and local government, labour, business, civil society, and academic and research institutions.

The work programme for the Interdepartmental Committee includes formulation of recommendations on whether to accede to international agreements, and advice on programmes of action with respect to agreements to which South Africa has already acceded, including proposals regarding the drafting of the necessary regulations.

5.5.8 Import and export control

The systems for controlling the import and export of chemicals and hazardous waste have now been integrated with the provisions of the International Trade Administration Act (Act 71 of 2003) which makes provision for control, through a permit system, of the import and export of goods specified by regulation. The system falls under a directorate in the dti - ITAC, the primary function of which is the administration of the provisions of the International Trade Administration Act.

The control of imports is done in terms of regulations issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry, who can either ban the import of goods of a specified class or kind, or require that they must adhere to the conditions stated in a permit issued by the Commission. DEA is required to identify the relevant tariff codes and associated restrictions required for chemicals and other products, which are submitted to the dti and promulgated by the Minister of Trade of Industry in terms of regulations issued under the International Trade Administration Act. The tariff codes are in turn utilised by the Customs and Excise division of SARS, which automatically acts in terms of the prohibitions or restrictions associated with a particular tariff code.

In order to assist both DEA and the dti with the administration of this system, it is important that the relevant Multilateral Export Agreement (MEA) Convention secretariats assist member countries with identifying the relevant tariff codes, which are used internationally. This alignment of mechanisms for import and export control with the MEAs is one of the central mechanisms to give effect to our international obligations.

5.6 Education, advocacy and awareness

The effectiveness of many waste measures, particularly those aimed at waste reduction, recycling and litter prevention, depends to a significant extent on public and consumer awareness and changes in behaviour. The development of a coherent communications and awareness strategy around waste issues, to be led by DEA, is therefore an important component of the NWMS.

Awareness of and responses to waste issues is very uneven across different South African communities, and there is a clear need for high-profile state-led public awareness campaigns to support initiatives in relation to littering, as well as to promote a general awareness of waste issues. Indalo Yethu, South Africa’s Environmental Campaign, was established by DEA as an outcome of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in order to promote public awareness of environmental issues. It includes an endorsement brand for environmentally sustainable programmes and products. The strengthening and promotion of this brand will play a central role in raising awareness of environmental issues amongst consumers. Indalo Yethu, in conjunction with DEA, will carefully plan the content of waste awareness campaigns and their alignment with possible waste delivery measures such as separation at source to maximise their impact and ensure the effective use of limited marketing budgets.

Money spent on effective awareness and education programmes is likely to lead to savings in terms of more effective collection and recycling of waste in the long run, and it is therefore important that such programmes are suitably funded and resourced.

There is also a lack of awareness of the importance of waste management amongst elected representatives and government officials, particularly at local government level. This has negative consequences for planning, personnel and budget allocations. Amongst other measures, there is a need for training of councillors in waste management issues.  DEA will work with SALGA and COGTA to integrate waste issues into the existing councillor training programmes, and to develop training programmes and training resources for councillors and local government officials.

DEA’s Cleaning and Greening Programme has expanded the previous “Cleanest town” competition, and has an important role to play in advocacy and awareness. To maximise the potential of this programme, opportunities for leveraging synergies with the DWA’s Blue Drop programme for evaluating performance of local water authorities and Indalo Yethu’s Eco-town programme will be pursued. Indalo Yethu’s Eco-town programme is an environmentally sustainable development framework that provides an integrated approach to environmental issues in urban planning. This will help to deepen the context and maximise the impact of the Cleaning and Greening Programme.

It is noted that the Blue Drop programme is tied to regulatory measures. Once specifications for Integrated Waste Management Plans by local municipalities have been drawn up, the Department intends to establish a similar framework for the Cleaning and Greening Programme.

The increased involvement of citizens in oversight of waste delivery services provides an important avenue for raising public awareness of waste management issues. The inclusion of mechanisms for citizen oversight of waste service delivery will become one of the criteria for evaluating integrated waste management plans produced by local government.
In relation to consumer awareness, DEA and the dti will collaborate through the interdepartmental committee that will be established for the purposes of coordination of the provisions of the Waste Act. The committee will review implementation of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act that are in alignment with the principles and mechanisms of the Waste Act.

Schools have a particularly important role to play in advocacy and awareness around waste issues. Waste management is currently included as a cross-cutting issue at the higher levels of the school curriculum, along with broader principles of environmental protection and water conservation. The implementation of waste as a topic in the curriculum will be strengthened by being linked to practical projects such as recycling and litter control. DEA will assist the Department of Basic Education in the development and review of guidelines for these projects.

Existing recycling initiatives in schools need to be supported and extended, although the fund-raising potential of these initiatives needs be realistically framed. Local business and community stakeholders are encouraged to find practical ways of initiating and supporting creative waste management initiatives in schools.

At a broader industry level, industry associations and business bodies will have an important role to play in raising the awareness of their members with respect to the provisions of the Act that impact on them, and in promoting the use of the voluntary instruments provided by the Act.

5.7 Capacity building

The ability to implement the Act requires the requisite capacity among the three spheres of government which have been mandated to implement the Act as well as industry, which has to comply with various provisions of the Act. Furthermore, the Act provides for independent persons to fulfil a number of requirements in relation to implementation of provisions in the Act.

Capacity requirements are informed by both adequate human resources to fulfil obligations as well as appropriate skills and training. This section will identify the main capacity challenges that need to be addressed.

5.7.1 Common challenges across all spheres of government

Integrated Waste Management Planning: The Act has established an integrated waste management planning system, which requires the preparation and implementation of integrated waste management plans at all three spheres of government. Capacity will be required in all three spheres to ensure that this interlocking system of integrated waste management planning is effective, and in particular at local level, since this is where the concrete plans and targets for waste service provision will be set.

Monitoring capacity and enforcement: Capacity amongst EMIs is required both in numbers and areas of specialisation. It is estimated that approximately 800 additional EMIs are required to fulfil the compliance monitoring and enforcement of the Waste Act.  Two-thirds of these EMIs will be located at local government level, averaging out to two EMIs per municipality.  These EMIs will also need to receive specialised training in the Waste Act. Whilst it would be ideal if they only focused on the Waste Act, in practice they will likely fulfil broader environmental compliance monitoring functions.  The required modules will be developed and offered at accredited institutions that have a Memorandum of Understanding with DEA.

5.7.2 National government

The main capacity challenges for the Department of Environmental Affairs are in the following areas:

Norms and standards: Capacity is required to develop both discretionary and mandatory norms and standards.  Specialist capacity will be built within the Department to develop and process standards, as these are a critical element of achieving the objectives of the Act. A dedicated unit including technical experts such as process and chemical engineers and legal drafters will be established.

Licensing: The Department requires capacity to process licenses for activities where the Minister is the licensing authority. The most critical function to be performed is the environmental impact assessments, and review of the work conducted by external experts. The full assessment procedure specified for Category B license applications is a technically demanding process that already requires the appointment of an independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP). Currently, an effort is underway to set standards for EAPs and a Certification Board for Environmental Assessment Practitioners in South Africa has been established. The Board’s certification criteria include both academic qualifications and professional experience and take into account ethics and values.

Contaminated Land and Remediation: This is one of the most significant new areas of regulation in terms of the Waste Act. It requires that a register of contaminated lands be established, with accompanying provisions to remediate, and it is retroactive in that it applies to land that was contaminated prior to the promulgation of the Act, or which experiences contamination now as a result of activities that took place prior to the Act’s promulgation. A new division is required with technical capacity to administer the system as described in Section 2.7 of the strategy.

Waste management measures in relation to industry: The Act provides several waste management measures directed at industry, which includes norms and standards, industry waste management plans, Extended Producer Responsibility, and declaration of priority wastes. Capacity is required at national level to develop a sound understanding of industry waste management, and develop working relations with industry players, as this is critical to achieving the consensual, co-regulatory approach to waste management activities.

Information management: The Department is the custodian of waste and waste management information, and a dedicated capacity for ensuring that appropriate information is collected, analysed and disseminated to support decision-making is required.

5.7.3 Provincial capacity

The two biggest challenges for provincial environmental authorities are the licensing of waste management activities that are not the responsibility of the National Department and its involvement in integrated waste management planning.

Provinces have a number of concomitant and discretionary powers and thus the provincial challenges will be largely influenced by which of these they choose to exercise. This will be done in conjunction with the national department and appropriate capacity initiatives will be developed through the intergovernmental coordination structures described in Section 5.8.

5.7.4 Municipal capacity

Municipal capacity for the sustainable provision of waste management services and proactive planning and management of landfill disposal is the single greatest capacity challenge. The following areas will require specific attention as part of a country wide capacity building programme for local government around waste management:

  • Planning capacity to prepare Integrated Waste Management Plans and to coherently plan for appropriate levels of service, the extension of services, and the planning and management of landfills.
  • Engineering and contracts management capacity for the actual delivery of waste services, either through internal mechanisms or through contracting private waste service providers.
  • Engineering and planning capacity to promote waste separation, collect recycled materials, and establish and operate MRFs.
  • Financial management and administrative capacity to undertake full cost accounting, ring fence waste service budgets, establish and implement cost reflective and volumetric tariffs, and implement the free basic services policy through targeting subsidies to the indigent.
  • Financial planning and infrastructure modelling capacity to undertake capital expenditure planning for waste services.
  • Engineering and project management capacity to ensure proper landfill management, permitting of landfills, and preparation of proposals for MIG funding.
  • Compliance monitoring and enforcement capacity to deal with situations of illegal dumping and non-compliance with Waste Act provisions.
  • Communications and stakeholder management capacity to effectively communicate with communities regarding the importance of proper waste management practices.

A nationally coordinated local government capacity building programme for waste management will aim to address the above challenges. The programme will be developed jointly between DEA, provinces and SALGA, and will be aligned with the overall strategic framework for local government capacity building that is being driven by COGTA. The programme will consist of various elements, including national policy guidance on systems and procedures, training and information programmes for officials and councillors, expert advice and placement for limited periods, and capacity building grants to support local initiatives. The programme will be finalised during 2010, and will be implemented at scale from the beginning of 2011.

5.8 Co-operative governance

The Constitution requires the different spheres of government and organs of state to exercise their powers and functions in a mutually supportive and cooperative manner. This has been given legal expression in terms of the Co- operative Governance Act. In relation to waste management, co-operative governance refers to harnessing the network of government institutions at national, provincial and local level to achieve the goals and objectives set out in this strategy.

This section of the NWMS will identify existing and proposed intergovernmental structures, as well as specific areas of co-operative governance required for particular provisions of the Waste Act.

5.8.1 Existing mechanisms to facilitate co-operative governance

The existing intergovernmental systems for coordinating environmental management provide the basis for cooperative governance in relation to waste management. These structures consist of the following:

  • MINMEC: Environment is a standing intergovernmental body consisting of the Minister of Environmental Affairs, members of the provincial Executive Councils (MECs) responsible for environmental management functions and SALGA. MINMEC meets quarterly.
  • MINTEC: Environment is a standing intergovernmental body that provides technical input into the MINMEC. The MINTEC consists of the Director-General of the DEA, the heads of the provincial departments responsible for environmental management functions, and SALGA. MINTEC also meets quarterly.
  • Committee for Environmental Co-ordination was established in terms of Section 7 of the NEMA.  The object of the Committee is to promote the integration of environmental functions of the relevant organs of state, and in particular to promote the achievement of the purpose and objectives of environmental implementation plans and environmental management plans.  This will be the appropriate forum to align the activities of DEA with other government departments, and integrate the IWMP into their strategic plans.

5.8.2 Compliance monitoring and enforcement

MINTEC Working Group 4 deals with compliance and enforcement issues, and it is working on clarifying the respective roles and responsibilities between national, provincial and local levels. This working group will review and provide guidance regarding the respective roles of the EMIs and the WMOs.

EMIs also coordinate their activities closely with the South African Police Services (SAPS), who play a crucial role in enforcing environmental legislation. EMIs work closely with police officials in the investigation of environmental crimes. In terms of NEMA, all police officers also have the powers of an EMI.

Coordination with the National Prosecuting Authority is extremely important for the prosecution of environmental crimes. EMIs are not empowered to prosecute cases in court, and the results of their investigations are handed over to prosecutors of the NPA to prosecute. The Department of Environmental Affairs and the NPA will collaborate to ensure the successful prosecution of environmental crimes.

5.8.3 Establishment of new co-ordinating structures

An important principle in the formulation of co-ordinating structures is to leverage on existing structures as far as possible and to minimise the establishment of new structures.  However, with respect to the relationship between the DEA and the Departments of Trade and Industry and Finance, a number of issues have been raised in the NWMS where coordination is required. A dedicated co-ordinating committee will be established to address the application of the South African Technical Infrastructure; the declaration of priority wastes and EPR schemes; the implications of the Consumer Protection Act; recycling schemes and the implications for competition policy; and incentives for cleaner production. The committee will also evaluate proposals for the promotion of reduction, re-use, recycling or recovery of waste, as well as their economic impact, in order to guide their further implementation.

With respect to land remediation, coordination is particularly important as this is a concurrent mandate. There is an existing Government Task Team comprising the Departments of Mineral Resources, Environmental Affairs and Water Affairs focusing on mine closures that addresses remediation in relation to mining activities. The mandate of this committee will be broadened to address remediation in its entirety. DEA will convene and provide the secretariat for this committee.

5.8.4 Co-ordination of the WMOs

The Act provides for the appointment of Waste Management Officers whose broad role will be the co-ordination of waste management activities. The diagram below represents the co-ordination mechanism for the WMOs. The creation of three structures is envisaged at local, provincial and national levels.

Figure 13: Coordination mechanisms for WMOs

Figure 13: Co-ordination mechanisms for WMOs
The role of WMOs is primarily regulatory, hence the requirement for a national waste forum independent of the existing MINTEC Working Group: II: Pollution and Waste, which is responsible for waste management policy. In the interests of effective co-ordination of the regulatory and policy-making roles in relation to waste management, the chairperson of the National Waste Forum will report to Working Group II.

5.8.5 Specific areas for co-operative governance    Waste management licensing
Section 44 of the Waste Act requires that a waste management license may only be issued with the required approvals from other organs of state that are legally mandated to consent to that activity. Furthermore, the Act makes provision for integrated licensing by means of, an integrated environmental authorization as contemplated in NEMA section 24L.
When issuing a waste management license, DEA submits the license to the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) for a Record of Decision.  DWA may request a water use license as per the provisions of the National Water Act. In the interests of integrated licensing, DWA in consultation with DEA may determine waste management activities for which a Record of Decision will suffice i.e. no separate water use license is required.
In the event that a contravention of a waste management license has resulted in the contamination of the water resource, the Minister may issue a remediation order or measures to monitor and manage the risk in terms of the National Water Act. This power must be exercised in consultation with the relevant MEC.
To achieve integrated licenses incorporating air quality, waste and water use licensing, licensing requirements must be harmonized through intra-departmental co-ordination with respect to air quality and waste management, and interdepartmental co-ordination with the Department of Water Affairs. Integrated licenses will reduce the administrative burden associated with licensing requirements.    Integrated Waste Management Plans
The inclusion of IWMPs in Integrated Developed Plans (IDPs) is required to ensure the mainstreaming of waste management in local government. A co-operative relationship is envisaged between the MEC for local government and the MEC for environment to ensure that municipalities are supported and monitored in the development and implementation of integrated waste management plans. In developing guidelines for these plans, DEA will consult with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.    Declaration of priority waste
Where the declaration of a priority waste is likely to have a significant impact on the national economy, the Minister of Trade and Industry and the Minister of Finance must be consulted.    Waste minimization and Extended Producer Responsibility
There is a co-operative relationship envisaged by the Act between DEA and the dti with respect to waste minimization activities and extended producer responsibility as provided by sections 17 and 18. In terms of section 17, the Minister of Environmental Affairs must consult with the Minister of Trade and Industry before requiring the reduction, re-use, recycling and recovery of products or requiring the inclusion of a determined percentage of recycled material in a product. The same consultation is required for the declaration of measures to achieve EPR as contemplated in section 18.    Land remediation
With respect to land remediation, the Minister or the MEC may only act in terms of the various provisions of the Act, having consulted with any other organ of state concerned, and in the case of the MEC having consulted with the Minister.    Regulations
The Act provides for the development of a regulations regarding various aspects of the Act, which need to be developed in consultation with the relevant Ministers – these Ministers include variously the Ministers of Trade and Industry, Finance, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Water Affairs.

5.9 Business and information systems

The restructuring of the Department of Environmental Affairs under the Ministry for Water and Environmental Affairs provides an opportunity for the department to restructure its business and information systems to better fulfil its mandate. In addition, the adoption of the Waste Act and the implementation NWMS will require a critical appraisal, and where necessary, restructuring of existing business process within the department, particularly in relation to:

  • The implementation of the WCMS, which requires approval procedures for the classification and characterisation of particular wastes, and a process for the development of the norms and standards that will be applied to particular waste activities.
  • The implementation of SAWIS, which will need to avoid duplication of business processes and information with other areas of work in DEA such as contaminated land processes, licensing applications and EIAs.

The department will implement a new technology strategy that will integrate all digital information within a single technology framework, thereby assisting in the avoidance of organisational silos that result in unnecessary duplication of information and business processes. This will also assist in the digitisation of business processes within the department, thereby freeing up staff to concentrate on their core responsibilities and decision-making roles.

The new technology strategy provides a unified architecture for the implementation of processes, legislation, organisational structures and data as objects in a software library. These then form the basis on which business rules are implemented that stipulate what processes in the system a particular user can access, and the types of operations the user can perform. The business rules are applied by a workflow engine that routes transactions to the responsible staff members and allows for bottle necks to be identified and service delivery goals to be more effectively monitored.

The technology framework integrates document management with business processes in a context sensitive manner, so that electronic documents relevant to a particular process can be accessed by users without requiring them to search.

An example of the type of process that will be implemented by the workflow engine in terms of business rules is the processing of licensing applications. The security architecture of the new framework will provide single sign-on’s that automatically apply appropriate restrictions based on the user profile. A license applicant will be able to submit their application online, attaching electronic versions of required documents. The application will then be routed automatically through the chain of authorisations and approval, with the applicant able to track its progress. As part of the process, the applicant will be automatically granted an appropriate level of access to SAWIS, and through SAWIS to the WCMS, in order to fulfil reporting requirements stipulated in their license.

The technology framework will be implemented on a common, extensible database for all systems within the Department. To protect the integrity of information in this database, it will be necessary for all provincial systems to be implemented within the technology framework. Where provincial systems such as waste information systems have already been implemented, these must:

  • Preferably, be migrated to the national technology framework.
  • Arrangements must be in place for provincial data to be transferred to the national system on a regular basis, and in conformance with standards for data validation determined by the national department.

An integrated national technology framework with a common database for information systems will support the use of business intelligence tools such as trends analysis and “what if” reporting to support effective decision making.

5.10 Monitoring and evaluation

The Policy Framework for Government-Wide Monitoring and Evaluation System (GWM&ES) published by the South African Presidency in 2007 is the overarching policy framework to institutionalise monitoring and evaluation  in the public service.  Reporting required for monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Waste Act is aligned to this framework.

National Treasury’s planning, budgeting and reporting cycle depicted below is reproduced from the Framework for Managing Programme Performance Information 2007. It provides a schematic depiction of the way that performance information must be considered throughout each of the planning, budgeting, implementation and reporting stages. Waste related targets and indicators must be incorporated in the strategic planning documents of the national and provincial departments and the municipal IDPs, and consequently into the annual performance reports of municipalities required in terms of the Municipal Systems Act.

Figure 14: Strategic planning and performance cycle for government

Figure 14: Strategic planning and performance cycle for government


5.10.1 Reporting on the implementation of the Integrated Waste Management Plans (IWMPs)

Section 13 of the Waste Act requires annual performance reporting on the implementation of integrated waste management plans. Annual performance reports on the implementation of the IWMPs must include information on:

  • The extent in which the plan has been implemented during the period.
  • The waste management initiatives that have been undertaken during the reporting period
  • The delivery of waste management services and measures taken to secure the efficient delivery of waste management services, if applicable.
  • The level of compliance with the plan and any applicable waste management standards.
  • The measures taken to secure compliance with waste management standards.
  • The waste management monitoring activities.
  • The actual budget expended on implementing the plan.
  • The measures that have been taken to make any necessary amendments to the plan.
  • In the case of a province, the extent to which municipalities comply with the plan and in the event of any non-compliance with the plan, the reasons for such non-compliance.
  • Any other requirements as may be prescribed by the Minister.

National and provincial departments responsible for environmental affairs are required to submit annual performance reports of their integrated waste management plans for approval to the relevant MEC’s and the Minister by 31 May each year.

The annual performance report prepared in terms of section 46 of the Municipal Systems Act must contain information on the implementation of the municipal IWMP. Local authorities are obliged to establish performance management systems that are commensurate with their resources and in line with their priorities, targets and indicators contained in their IDP. Municipalities are required to table their annual reports in terms of the Municipal Systems Act, 2000. The municipality must adopt its annual report within 14 days of tabling and submit a copy of the report to the MEC and Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the MEC and Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.

Each province is responsible for the consolidation of the integrated waste management performance reports of all the municipalities in the specific province and must send the consolidated report to the national department for review and publication in the national department’s annual report. 

Specific reporting information required by Chapter 3 of the Act is described in the table below.

Government level National Department Provincial Department Municipality
Table 13: Requirements for reporting on implementation of integrated waste management plans
Deadline for receipt of annual performance report No later than 31 May each year No later than 31 August  each year
Report required Annual performance report on implementation of IWMPs Annual performance report to include progress reports on IWMPs
Approval required Minister MEC and Minister Respective councils; copy to MEC ; Minister DWEA and GOGTA
Required to submit prescribed annual performance report on IWMPs X X X
Extent to which the plan has been implemented during the period X X X
Waste management initiatives undertaken during reporting period X X X
Delivery of waste management services -- -- X
Level of compliance with IWMP and applicable waste management standards X X X
Measures to secure compliance with waste management standards X X X
Waste monitoring activities X X X
Actual budget expended on implementing the plan X X X
Measures taken to make any necessary amendments to the plan X X X
Extent to which municipalities comply with the plan and reasons for any non-compliance -- X X
Any other requirements as may be prescribed by the Minister X X X


5.10.2 Targets and indicators

Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the waste management strategy requires each municipality, provincial department and DEA to compile a set of targets and indicators for each stage of implementation of the waste hierarchy.

In order to establish a uniform platform for monitoring and reporting on progress with the achievement of the NWMS, a minimum set of targets and indicators for each stage of implementation of the waste hierarchy is set out in this document. Targets should be set during the planning phase, linked to specific indicators. The targets and indicators must be reported on in the annual performance reports.

Indicators provide information on progress towards achieving targets and must be specific, measurable, achievable, and time bound. The indicator must be specified upfront for each target to enable comparative monitoring over time and allow for the process of data collection to be in place.  The first year of monitoring will provide a baseline and each year’s performance could become the following year’s baseline.

In order to measure progress with implementing the NWMS, targets and indicators have been set for each of the objectives for the NWMS defined in section 2.1 above. The primary focus of these indicators and targets is on measuring progress with the achievement of the waste hierarchy, as well as the broader social and economic objectives which the strategy aims to achieve.

Indicators and targets for the achievement of the goals and objectives of the NWMS are set out in Table 14 and 15 below. The targets have been set for the year 2015, i.e. five years from the date of publication of the NWMS, which is the period in which the next review of the NWMS must take place.

Table 14: Goals, objectives, indicators and targets for NWMS
Goal 1: Securing ecologically sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • To ensure the protection of the environment through effective waste management measures
  • To protect the health and wellbeing of people by providing an affordable waste collection service
  • Grow the contribution of the waste sector to GDP
  • Increase number of jobs within waste services, recycling and recovery sectors
  • Promote SMMEs in waste sector
% of waste management activities above required threshold which have been licensed All new waste management activities above threshold licensed
% of households that receive basic waste collection services All households receiving at least a basic waste management service
Waste sector as a % of GDP Waste sector to contribute 2% to GDP
% increase in jobs within waste services, recycling and recovery sectors 10% increase in employment within waste services, recycling and recovery sectors
Number of SMMEs operating sustainably in waste sector 20% increase in SMMEs within waste sector
Goal 2: Avoiding and minimizing the generation of waste Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • Design and manufacture of products to avoid or minimize waste generation
  • Discourage waste generation through cost reflective and volume based tariffs
  • Consumer awareness of waste minimization issues
% of IndWMPs which contain targets for waste minimisation IndWMPs for main industrial sectors contain waste minimization targets and cleaner production methods
The uptake of cleaner production methods All industries reporting on IndWMPs indicates uptake of cleaner production methods
Per capita and per GDP waste generation Per capita and per GDP waste generation declines by 10%
Goal 3: Reducing, re-using, recycling and recovering waste Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • Provide at least a basic level of waste service to all
  • Solid waste management to be performed efficiently and effectively
  • Implement free basic refuse removal policy for indigent households
The % of metal beverage cans, glass, paper and plastic recycled Achievement of recycling targets in Packaging IndWMP
Percentage of recyclable material going to landfill % of recyclable material to landfill reduced by 20%
The % of municipalities implementing separation at source Separation at source implemented in all metropolitan municipalities and secondary cities
The % of municipalities with MRFs established An MRF established in every municipality
Goal 4: Promoting and ensuring the effective delivery of waste services Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • Provide at least a basic level of waste service to all
  • Solid waste management to be performed efficiently and effectively
  • Implement free basic refuse removal policy for indigent households
% of households that receive at least a basic level of waste services Universal provision of at least basic level of waste service
Cost per household of waste collection services Cost of waste service below R50 per household per month (2010 prices)
Number of municipalities implementing full cost accounting for waste services All municipalities implementing full cost accounting
% of municipalities implementing FBRR policy effectively All municipalities implementing FBRR policy
Goal 5: Treating and safely disposing of waste as a last resort Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • Quantity of waste disposed to landfill to stabilize, and then reduce.
  • Regionalisation of waste management services
  • Landfills to be properly managed and compliant with legislation
  • Increase thermal treatment and conversion of waste to energy
Total volume of waste disposed to landfill 0% increase in volume of waste to landfill
The % of district municipalities operating regional landfill sites All landfills licensed and compliant
The number of (1) permitted and (2) compliant landfill sites as percentage of total All landfills licensed and compliant
The % of municipalities with waste to energy conversion projects All metropolitan municipalities and secondary cities implementing waste to energy projects
Goal 6: Remediating land where contamination presents a significant risk of harm to health or the environment Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • Quantify the extent of contaminated land
  • Implement contaminated land measures in the Waste Act
  • Remediate priority areas of contaminated land
  • Clarify extent of state liability for contaminated land
Assessment of extent of contaminated land Assessment of extent of contaminated lands completed
The establishment of a contaminated land register Contaminated land register established
The number of notices of contaminated land The terms of urgent land remediation notices issued by December 2011 to be fulfilled
The number of declarations of contaminated land by owners The terms of urgent land remediation notices issued by December 2011 to be fulfilled
Clarification of state liability in respect of notices of contaminated land State liability for remediation identified prior to 2012 to be resolved by 2015


Table 15: Process related goals, objectives and indicators
Goal 1: Achieving integrated waste management planning Proposed indicators    Targets (2015)
  • Reliable information on waste flows and an accurate national waste balance
  • Establish an effective system of performance based IWMPs at all levels of government
  • IndWMPs adopted for key industrial sectors
Public availability of reliable information on waste balance from SAWIS Publically accessible information from SAWIS provides accurate waste balance
The % of municipalities who have prepared IWMPs and integrated them with IDPs All municipalities have prepared IWMPs and integrated them with IDPs
The number of IndWMPs approved for sectors identified in NWMS All sectors identified in NWMS have approved IndWMPs
Goal 2: Sound budgeting and financial management for waste services Proposed indicators   Targets (2015)
  • Sound financial planning for waste services
  • Full cost accounting for waste services
  • Cost reflective and volumetric tariffs implemented
  • Waste services sustainably financed


% of municipalities which have developed a medium term capital and operating plan for waste services All municipalities have developed a medium term capital and operating plan for waste services
% of municipalities which have implemented full cost accounting for waste services All municipalities have implemented full cost accounting for waste services
% of municipalities which have implemented cost reflective and volumetric tariffs All municipalities have implemented cost reflective tariffs
% of municipalities with balanced waste services budgets All municipalities have balanced waste services budgets
Goal 3: Adequate staffing and capacity for waste management Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • WMOs appointed at all levels of government
  • Additional technical capacity developed to deal with norms and standards, industry regulation and remediation
  • EMI capacity expanded to deal with Waste Act
  • Private sector capacity mobilized to support waste service delivery and community based collection models
% of government agencies which have appointed WMOs All designated government agencies have appointed WMOs
% of national and provincial departments with the requisite technical capacity National and provincial departments have the requisite technical capacity
Number of EMIs dealing with Waste Act at local, provincial and national level At least 300 EMIs dealing with Waste Act enforcement
% of municipalities with PPPs and community based collection models All metropolitan municipalities and secondary cities have implemented waste PPPs and/or community based waste collection models
Goal 4: Effective compliance with and enforcement of waste regulations Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • Systematic monitoring of compliance with regulations and permit conditions
  • Culture of compliance with waste act regulations established
  • Establishment of a hotline to report non-compliance
  • Waste offenders successfully prosecuted
% of permitted waste activities that have annual compliance monitoring reports All permitted waste activities have annual compliance monitoring reports
% of reports of non-compliance via hotline which are followed up 100% follow up of reports of non-compliance via hotline
The number of illegal activities that are investigated EMIs investigate 500 incidents of illegal activities per annum
Number of incidents of non-compliance by organs of state taken up by EMIs All incidents of non-compliance by organs of state taken up by EMIs
Number of prosecutions and % of successful prosecutions 67% success rate in prosecutions
Goal 5: Effective monitoring and reporting on performance with waste functions Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • Systematic monitoring of key performance indicators by each sphere of government
  • Reporting on key performance indicators in line with Waste Act
  • Regular evaluation of performance with waste functions and IndWMPs
% of NWMS key performance indicators on which reliable data is available Reliable data is available on 90% of NWMS key performance indicators
% of organs of state responsible for waste functions submitting annual performance reports 100% of organs of state responsible for waste functions submit annual performance reports
% on industries reporting on progress with IndWMPs All industries report annually on progress with IndWMPs
Completion of annual performance assessment Annual performance assessment published
Goal 6: Ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment Proposed indicators Targets (2015)
  • To develop national and local awareness campaigns on the social importance of waste management
  • Promote waste minimization and recycling through education system
  • Establish an equivalent to the “Blue Drop” award for waste management by municipalities
% of municipalities running effective local awareness campaigns 80% of municipalities running effective local awareness campaigns
Annual qualitative assessment of public awareness about waste 60% of South Africans show meaningful awareness of waste issues
% of schools that have waste awareness or recycling programmes 50% of schools have waste awareness and recycling programmes
% of municipalities participating in the Cleanest Town programme 80% participation of municipalities in the Cleanest Town programme

The above indicators and targets will be used as the basis for reviewing progress with implementation of the NWMS, and a comprehensive review of progress against each indicator will be undertaken at end of the five year period.

On an annual basis DEA will collate and publish information on a prioritised list of indicators, which reflect progress in the priority areas as set out in the annual business plan of DEA.

Waste services indicators and targets
At local government level the primary focus on the reporting system should be on solid waste management, and a specific set of indicators and targets are required in order to monitor the sustainable provision of waste management services. A minimum set of targets for use by municipalities in provision of waste services is set out below. The actual setting of relevant targets will be the responsibility of each municipality.

  • The number of households receiving a waste management service (% over time).
  • Budget allocations to ensure financial support (% increase in budget over time).
  • Equipment and infrastructure provision.
  • Number of staff trained or capacitated to improve service.
  • Percentage of community being aware of the waste management services.
  • Reduction of waste to landfill.
  • Improvement of cost recovery measures.

Reporting on Industry Waste Management Plans
Industry waste management plans that have been submitted for approval, whether obligatory or voluntary, by a category of persons or an industry, must be monitored by the relevant national or provincial department responsible for environmental affairs. The monitoring and reporting system for IndWMPs must be set out in the plan, and should include an annual review of the achievement of targets set out in the IndWMP. The report should reflect the priorities and the performance targets set by the industry for the following financial year; and include measures that were or are to be taken to improve performance.

Reports by industry on performance in terms of IndWMPs will be consolidated by the national and provincial departments, and will be published as a consolidated report for public information purposes.