State of Waste Management in Cities 2013 – 2014

Phase 1: State of Waste Management in Cities

Government has substantially elevated and supported waste management through a myriad of laws and policies. The South African Constitution of 2006, the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), Waste Act 2008, the Municipal Systems Act, the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS), Waste Management Standards and the National Waste Information Regulations (NWMR) have all created the legislative and policy framework, standards, reporting requirements and assigned responsibilities for waste management to different spheres of Government. The Integrated Waste Management Plans (IWMPs) are mandatory and key tools for waste management at city level.


Local Government has been assigned the largest responsibility, legislative mandate and support for waste management services in the country. The municipalities are required to develop an across-the-board Waste Management Service, in line with the Waste Act 2008 and NWMS. In this regard, the South African Cities Network (SACN) has also prioritized research on waste management in support of sustainable development in cities. A project to prepare the State of Waste Management in Cities initiated in 2012, aims to evaluate data on waste management services in SACN member cities, and report thereof on the current status.


The project involved the analysis of pre-collected city data on waste management, the governance structure, resource allocation & legal compliance, institutional arrangements for waste collection & service level agreements as well as any other issues affecting waste management within the cities. This project report thus provides the status of waste management in cities, using the 2011/2012 financial year data as a baseline to inform the 2016 State of Cities Report on waste management.



Phase 2: Modelling the effects of landfilling as a disposal method

Urbanisation and population growth has resulted in increased generation of solid waste, which places increasing pressure on waste management within cities. As this trend continues, the drive to seek less impacting methods associated with disposal and increased focus on recycling, separation and re-use of waste is to be further explored and implemented. The shift on reducing waste to landfill is forcing cities to look at suitable alternatives and reconfigure their planning for the future. This report demonstrates the impact of relying on landfilling as the main disposal method for solid waste.


As an attempt towards finding solutions, the report also provides recommendations on strategic interventions required to curb the impacts which includes; institutional arrangements, policies and procurement processes. Waste indicators were developed in 2013 during the write-up of the State of Waste Management in Cities Report. These have further been refined and incorporated into a model for use by each city and projected against a 2030 timeline.