The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) is a statutory mechanism established by the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (“the Waste Act”) that is intended to be binding on all government organs. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, as the department responsible for the implementation of the NWMS, has identified the need for consultation with government departments and stakeholders as being critical to the successful formulation and implementation of the strategy.

In itself, the Waste Act was the subject of an extensive consultation process, which included consultation on its provisions for a national strategic plan for waste management. As part of the consultation on the Bill, workshops were held from March to April 2007 with NGO’s, Industry and the Recycling sector, and a national Waste Management Conference was convened by DEAT.

To develop a realistic and viable waste management strategy that can be implemented by affected parties, it is essential that the mandates, resources, and needs of government and other stakeholders are accurately determined through a thorough consultative process. This process must constitute a participative approach to planning that results in all government organs and stakeholders developing real investment in achieving the objectives of the NWMS.