1.2 Legislative requirements

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The Waste Act: (Act No. 59 of 2008)

Chapter 3, section 11 of the Waste Act requires that all government spheres must develop Integrated Waste Management Plans (IWMPs). Section 12 of the Waste Act outlines what the contents of integrated waste management plans should be, whilst section 13 stipulates the reporting mechanisms on the implementation of IWMP's.

In terms of section 11 (4) (a) (ii) of the Waste Act, municipalities must incorporate the approved IWMP in their IDP's as called for by chapter 5 of Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) MSA. Chapter 5, sections 23-37 of MSA deals with the process of developing Integrated Development Plans. Section 36 of the MSA states that, a municipality must give effect to its IDP and conduct its affairs in a manner which is consistent with its IDP. This means that the development and implementation of the IWMP must be aligned with the IDP.

Waste is managed by different pieces of legislation such as the National Water Act, (Act 36 of 1998); Hazardous Substances Act, (Act 15 of 1973); Advertising on Roads and Ribbon Development Act (Act 21 of 1940); and the Occupation and Safety Act (Act no 85 of 1993). Other applicable policies and standards including municipal by-laws are listed below which should be considered when developing an IWMP:

Regulations in terms of the Waste Act:

  • National Waste Information regulations
  • National Waste Classification and Management System regulations
  • Remediation of contaiminated land
  • Standards for soil quality

The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS)

Gazetted by DEA in 2012, aims at giving effect to the objects of the Waste Act. Municipalities are required to align their IWMP's to the NWMS tagerts where possible in order to contribute to the attainment of the goals and targets set in the NWMS.

The South African Constitution, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996)

Section 24 of the Bill of rights of the Constitution of South Africa clearly states that everyone has the right to:

  1. An environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and
  2. Should have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that:
    1. prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
    2. Promote conservation; and
    3. Secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development

The Constitution places an emphasis on the need to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures i.e. IWMP. It is within this provision that IWMPs must strive or come up with measures to uphold the rights of all citizens within the jurisdiction of the municipality and should enhance and promote environmental protection from any form of degradation as enshrined by the South African Constitution.

National Domestic Waste Collection Standards, January 2011

The main purpose of these standards is to redress past imbalances in the provision of waste collection services, whereby it has become imperative that acceptable, affordable and sustainable waste collection services be rendered to all South Africans. The provision of waste collection services will improve the quality of life of citizens and will ensure that citizens live in a clean and more acceptable environment. The lack of waste collection services or poor quality waste collection services can result in a number of environmental and human health problems and therefore proper planning is crucial.

National Policy for the Provision of Basic Refuse Removal Services to Indigent Households

This policy provides for the provision of basic refuse removal for Indigent households. The policy defines basic refuse removal service level as the most appropriate level of waste removal service that should be provided and this is based on site specific circumstances. Such a basic level of service be it in an urban or rural set-up, is attained when a municipality provides or facilitates waste removal. The policy further outlines the appropriate levels of service for different settlement densities, frequency of collection and provision of waste receptacles amongst others.

National Environment Management Act, (Act 107 of 1998) NEMA

NEMA is the mother of all environmental management Acts in South Africa. The purpose of NEMA is to uphold the provisions of section 24 of the Bill of rights (The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa). It aims to promote and uphold the rights of South African citizens to live in an environment that is not harmful to its health or well-being.

It places sustainable development at the centre of every development process that has the potential to have an impact on social, economic and environment whereby it requires the integration of social, economic and environmental factors in the planning, implementation and evaluation of decisions to ensure that development serves present and future generations.

Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000)

In terms of Section 25 of the MSA each municipal council must, within a prescribed period after the start of its elected term, adopt a single, inclusive and strategic plan (IDP) for the development of the municipality. In relation to waste management, the IDP is required to include sectoral environmental plans which would be an IWMP for waste management. In their IDP's municipalities are required to ensure proper resource allocation to achieve the targets set in the respective plans.

National Health Act, 2000 (Act 63 of 1977)

Section 20 of this Act requires that 'every local authority shall take all lawful, necessary and reasonable practicable measures to maintain its district at all times in a hygenic and clean condition' by ensuring the following:

  1. To prevent occurences within its destrict if:
    1. Any nuisance
    2. Any un-hygenic conditions
    3. Any offensive condition
    4. Any other condition which will or could be harmful or dangerous to the health of any person within its district or the district of any other local authority or where nuisance or conditions referred to in sub-paragraph (a)-(d), inclusive has so occurred, to be abated, such nuisance or remedy or cause to be remedied, such as the case may be.