The purpose of this chapter is to set out the overall approach of the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS), including the eight priority goals and accompanying objectives for its achievement. It also sets out the indicators to measure the achievements against targets which are to be met within a five-year time-frame. These targets will be reviewed five years after the NWMS adoption.

The overall purpose of the strategy is to give effect to the objects of the Waste Act, which are to protect health, well-being and the environment through sound waste management and application of the waste management hierarchy. The strategy provides a plan to give practical effect to the Waste Act, and as such it seeks to ensure that responsibility for waste management is properly apportioned.

The legacy of inadequate waste services, poorly planned and maintained waste management infrastructure, and limited regulation of waste management persistently threaten the health and wellbeing of everyone in the country. Addressing this legacy and its negative environmental and social consequences, advances people's constitutional right to a healthy environment. The NWMS aims to redress the past imbalances in waste management. For example, waste licensing will not permit landfill sites within a particular radius of a human settlement.

The eight strategic goals around which the NWMS is structured are as follows:

Goal 1: Promote waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste.

Focuses on implementing the waste management hierarchy, and with the ultimate aim of diverting waste from landfill.

Goal 2: Ensure the effective and efficient delivery of waste services.

Promotes access to at least a basic level of waste services for all and integrates the waste management hierarchy into waste services, including separation at source.

Goal 3: Grow the contribution of the waste sector to the green economy.

Emphasises the social and economic impact of waste management, and situates the waste strategy within the green economy approach.

Goal 4: Ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, wellbeing and the environment.

Seeks to involve communities and people as active participants in implementing a new approach to waste management.

Goal 5: Achieve integrated waste management planning.

Creates a mechanism for integrated, transparent and systematic planning of waste management activities at each level of government.

Goal 6: Ensure sound budgeting and financial management for waste services.

Provides mechanisms to establish a sustainable financial basis for providing waste services.

Goal 7: Provide measures to remediate contaminated land.

Addresses the massive backlog of public and privately owned contaminated land in South Africa.

Goal 8: Establish effective compliance with and enforcement of the Waste Act.

Ensures that everyone adheres to the regulatory requirements for waste, management, and builds a culture of compliance.

Details of the objectives, indicators and targets to achieve each goal follow later in this chapter.