South Africa: Waste management

The purpose of this waste management project is to support Green Cape's Waste Economy project in three key areas:

  • Analysis of Policy and Regulatory Environment for Waste Management and Municipal Service Provision
  • Identifying opportunities and removing barriers for 'waste as a resource'
  • Decision support for Municipal Waste Management

In the project period from October 2013 - October 2015 the following activities will take place:

  • workshops
  • training
  • exchange missions


Most of the waste is still deposited in landfills, which in many cases are filling up quickly and reaching capacity. There is widespread resistance against developing new landfill sites, so the authorities are looking for alternatives. A key challenge is that landfilling is still the cheapest alternative and that the emphasis on least cost in procurement makes it very difficult for municipalities to justify alternatives.

Enforcement is a systemic issue in terms of budget being made available for staff to perform such enforcement. However, what is at issue is often not flagrant disregard but rather disregard due to lack of knowledge and capacity to implement. For this reason the provincial government helps municipalities comply with laws and regulations rather than taking a strictly punitive approach. The approach is not consistent across the provinces.

The Green Cape Initiative (Green Cape) is a Sector Development Agency established by the Western Cape Provincial government and the City of Cape Town in 2010. Green Cape was established to unlock the manufacturing and employment potential in the Green Economy in the Western Cape. Through partnerships with WESGRO, Provincial Government and academia Green Cape provides a platform on which to build a competitive business infrastructure in the Western Cape.

The sorting of waste in South Africa