Concern rises over tougher waste control
Companies worry about the uncertainty over the timing of SA’s new environmental waste legislation and its costs
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa is pushing the paper and packaging, electrical and electronic equipment and lighting industries to submit waste-management plans to improve the environment. This comes as they face a new packaging tax and a carbon tax. The government has adopted the principle of the polluter pays to fast-track implementation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act. This promotes waste minimisation, reuse, recycling and recovery. But makers of everything from cardboard boxes to light bulbs say there is uncertainty over the timing of the legislation and its costs. The waste act is also aimed at encouraging packagers to promote empowerment in the informal sector and engage in enterprise development. Earlier amendments to the waste act stated that levies needed by the industry to fund waste processes would be paid into the National Revenue Fund and would not be ring-fenced for recycling. "Money has not been given back to the industry," Muller says. ...