Evaluating the implementation of the South African National Waste Management Strategy goals by local government
Thobejane, Palesa Masuenyane
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South African municipalities regularly face challenges with managing waste due to increased population and economic growth and the complexity of waste streams. The National Waste Management Strategy, 2011 (NWMS) was developed to address these growing waste-related concerns. The main aim of the NWMS and its formulated goals are to affect the realisation of the objectives of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008, which aims to give effect to the waste management hierarchy. It is the responsibility of local government to implement the goals of the NWMS through their integrated waste management plans (IWMPs). This study aimed to evaluate the implementation of the 2011 NWMS goals by the City of Tshwane (CoT) as a case study for local government. In order to achieve the objectives of the study, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. Primary data was collected through research interviews with waste management employees from the CoT’s waste management department. Secondary data was collected from the NWMS, CoT’s 2014 IWMP, CoT’s 2017 – 2021 Integrated Development Plan (IDP), and supporting documents. The results revealed that seven of the eight NWMS goals had been incorporated into the CoT IWMP, whilst Goal 7 was not provided for because it does not fall within the mandate of the CoT’s waste management department. However, the actual implementation of the NWMS goals still required attention, as evident from the review of documents such as the CoT IDP, Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan 2017-2021, and the Waste Management Performance Report 2015-2020. Some challenges exist within the CoT as far as integrated waste management is concerned, which impacted the pace of implementation of the NWMS goals. These challenges include a lack of adequate training among employees in waste management, a shortage of necessary resources such as funding, inadequate law enforcement, which leads to illegal dumping and the lack of awareness of the importance of waste management in communities. The study concludes that even though waste management remains a significant challenge across local governments in South Africa, municipalities such as the CoT are making commendable progress towards attaining the NWMS goals.