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Mafube is not unlike many other municipalities in South Africa where service delivery has collapsed, to the detriment of communities and the environment. A prime example of this collapse is at Villiers where, as recently as 2018, more than R18 Million was spent on establishing a landfill site, which was to conform to modern standards and operated to industry best practise principles. Sadly, this site was allowed to go to complete ruin, with rubbish now dumped in the road, up to 1 km away from the site and right up to the R26. The landfill sites at other Mafube towns are even worse off - zero compliance with legislation and no licenses in place as is mandatory.

The promulgation of the Waste Act (Act No. 59 of 2008) was a key milestone in consolidating waste legislation in a bid to have common goals and understanding of how the country's waste should be managed.

The Waste Act adopts the waste management hierarchy approach to dealing with and addressing waste issues in the country, where the emphasis is on waste reduction, if not possible re-use, recycling and composting, recovery to create energy, with disposal as a last resort as illustrated in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1: Waste management hierarchy.

The development of IWMPs is now mandatory as stipulated in the Waste Act; which requires that municipalities must integrate their IWMPs into their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) in order to ensure that waste management services are streamlined with other essential basic services such as water and sanitation, housing, and electricity provision. This is to ensure that waste management should receive a share from the equitable share funding allocation and municipalities should ensure that waste services will be properly budgeted to ensure sustainability in the delivery of waste management services. Further, Municipalities are required to include the implementation of their IWMPs in their annual performance reports – there is serious doubt whether Mafube complies in this regard.

Partnerships to be included in IWMPs

The Department of Environmental Affairs and provincial sub-departments provide guidelines to local government to develop their IWMPs and recognise the importance of partnerships in the process. As can also be seen from the hierarchy figure above, communities have an important role to play and consultation is a must. Municipalities could partner on with the identified stakeholders:

  • Public-private-partnerships (PPPs): could be formed by calling for proposals from interested parties to indicate how they are going to deliver a certain aspect to waste management. The municipality could decide to play an oversight role while the service provider will be responsible for the delivery of the service. Some of the services could include carrying out recycling initiatives through Co-operatives (Co-ops), private company or through community-based waste collection methods etc.

  • Leases: in this type of a partnership a municipality would lease land to Co-ops or a private company to establish a buyback centre in order to carry out recycling;

  • Privatisation: of a waste collection service i.e. the transportation aspect to the service / transfer of ownership whereby a driver-owner scheme could be in place, this entails the owner of a truck being the actual driver that provides the service on behalf of the municipality;

  • Joint ventures: in a wide variety of areas such as in operating a waste disposal site, or in the construction of a waste disposal facility where a private company would be responsible for the project or certain aspects thereof.

The formation of PPP's for the implementation of IWM plans should be investigated. PPP's for smaller local authorities could greatly reduce the cost of equipment and salaries and should be encouraged. Partnerships in waste collection can prove very beneficial for small local authorities and should be considered for public-public as well as for public-private partnerships.

Visit MBF at 18 A Kerkstraat, Frankort, send an email to or a WhatsApp 079 145 4295. (

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