No immediate scheme for South Africa’s waste tyres
South Africa Grapples with ELT Management
South Africa’s waste tyre management has been in crisis from the start. The creation of REDISA was contested by politicians and the tyre and rubber manufacturers. They didn’t like the idea of paying a recycling tax at the point of entry to the country – and they fought the establishment of REDISA every inch of the way.
REDISA was created despite the protests and had established the framework for what should have been a very positive model for recycling, creating jobs and building businesses. However, the organisation was considered top-heavy, and the salaries and expenses of the management were heavily criticised. The then Minister for Environmental Affairs, Edwina Molewa, ultimately shut down the nascent REDISA before it really got the waste tyre industry moving. It has to be noted, that through the legal actions taken by Molewa, unlimately, the courts found in favour of REDISA, but Molewa went ahead and closed the operation regardless.
Since that time, there has been an ongoing discussion about how South Africa deals with waste tyres. Given the number of enquiries that Tyre and Rubber Recycling receives, the situation in the country must be as clear as mud, with those involved in recycling essentially ploughing their own furrow where they can.
Currently, an interim advisory committee has been set up to provide guidance to the Waste Management Bureau. This is despite Section 29 Waste Tyre Management Requirements already being at an advanced stage.
The argument is that the requirements still need to be considered for public consultation and final revision. Only then will the DFFE or the Waste Bureau be able to establish a management scheme through a tender process.
That tender process will require the applicants to layout their detailed proposals in line with the final Section 29 requirements.
The interim will see the Waste Management Board manage waste tyres with a view to, within 2 – 3 years, being able to hand over control to the final tyre management contender.