5.3 Integrated Waste Management Planning

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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.