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Opportunity Issue 102

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

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activity book.indd 1 2021/08/25 21:01 WASTE MANAGEMENT Taking the fight to litter The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is implementing the National Waste Management Strategy. Understanding Marine L itter and its impacts One of the 22 waste collection and landfill management trucks that is being handed to struggling municipalities. Minister Creecy handed over the truck to the Merafong and Rand West Local Municipalities. Through its waste-management fleet handover campaign, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has literally taken the fight against litter to the road. The Department has used R42.4- million of its own budget to provide 22 vehicles to 19 municipalities that are battling unsightly litter across the country. The vehicles include skip-loader trucks, front-end loaders, GOOD GREEN DEEDS compactor trucks and other trucks required to transport waste within the municipal area. “Our municipalities are struggling to provide regular and consistent waste-collection services. Once dumpsites develop, these are not reularly cleared and a number of our landfills do not meet regulatory compliance standards,” says Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister, Ms Barbara Creecy. The National Waste Management Strategy was revised in 2020 and focuses on: improving household waste collection; diverting waste from landfills; promoting a circular economy and promoting community awareness of the effects of illegal dumping on their own health and on the environment. “To improve waste management in municipalities, the Department is assisting in the development of their integrated waste management plans and training in sustainable waste management practices,” says Minister Creecy. Among the greatest threats to the health of the environment and people is waste pollution. “Throughout our country, we are plagued by littering, illegal dumpsites and the scourge of plastic waste that enters our river systems, our wetlands and ultimately our oceans,” notes the Minister. While the country has made significant strides in improving waste management since 1994, almost a third of households still do not have regular weekly household waste-removal services. Households are sometimes forced to find their own solutions to

WASTE MANAGEMENT waste management and these solutions are often damaging to the health of communities and the well-being of the environment. Minister Creecy stresses that everyone has a role to play: “To achieve the goals of this strategy all of us must play our part. National and provincial government must support municipalities to develop locally-integrated waste-management strategies. We must ensure our landfills comply with the regulatory environment and waste does not leach into groundwater or into the soil. We must invest in the yellow fleet and every year we must ensure more and more homes have access to safe waste disposal.” Government has set up the regulatory environment for extended producer-responsibility schemes to promote recycling in the packaging, electronics and lighting industries, with recent regulations gazetted for new sectors such as used oil and pesticides. The regulations for organic-waste treatment and organic-waste composting have also been published for implementation in order to divert waste away from landfills and create new industries. “Communities must begin to separate their waste at home so that waste reclaimers can undertake their work in a dignified manner. Households must teach family members not to litter and must work with their neighbours to prevent illegal dumpsites. All of us must participate in regular clean-up campaigns to beautify our communities and protect our environment,” observed Minister Creecy. In addition, the Department has also cooperated with National Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to change the Municipal Infrastructure Grant Policy so that municipalities can access the grant to fund their yellow fleet. “Government and the private sector must work with waste reclaimers so that we build a dignified waste and reclaiming industry that promotes waste diversion from landfills, promotes the circular economy and gives a decent livelihood to the tens of thousands of men and women who do the daily back-breaking work of the recycling industry,” urged Minister Creecy. Municipalities are struggling to provide regular and consistent waste collection services. Once dumpsites develop, they are not regularly cleared and a number of landfills do not meet regulatory compliance standards. Find us: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Watch us: EnvironmentZA Follow us: @EnvironmentZA Email: callcentre@environment.gov.za Call centre: 086 111 2468

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