Summit seeks to improve waste management
Water and Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi has officially opened the 4th Waste Management Khoro at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban.
The gathering, which ends on Wednesday, is a platform for all waste management officers -- including waste management practitioners and other related officials from the three spheres of government -- to share experiences.
The officials also discuss challenges, possible solutions and opportunities with the aim of improving waste management in the country.
Discussions will also be centralised on the National Waste Management Strategy, which prioritises the development of clean and sustainable environments for all and most importantly, the participation of all citizens in development matters.
Waste management has since 2009 made a remarkable policy shift with the introduction of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008) (NEMWA).
NEMWA is one of the means used to fast track the implementation of integrated waste management systems. It is being implemented through the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS), which was approved by Cabinet in 2011.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting on Monday, Mabudafhasi said the gathering had become a milestone event to take stock of what the country has achieved and what still needed to be focused on to improve the delivery of waste services.
“As the population gradually grows and society progresses, the generation of waste becomes an unavoidable phenomenon. It is further complicated by the complex waste streams, which are fuelled by technology advancements and consumerism lifestyles,” said Mabudafhasi.
She said waste management was central to the improvement of the standard of living and had the potential to eradicate poverty through job creation opportunities which exist in waste collection, recycling and other forms of waste management in general.
“Following our assessment of unlicensed waste disposal sites in the country, the department supported the licensing of 56 sites in the 2012/13 financial year.
“Further to that, out of the remaining 202 unlicensed sites, the department will support a total of 122 sites and a further 80 sites will be funded by the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA). We are looking at eradicating the backlog of unlicensed sites by the end of March 2014,” said Mabudafhasi.
This year’s khoro is held under the theme ‘Making the management of waste a collective effort’. – SAnews.gov.za