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Happy ending for South Africa’s tyre tale

South Africa – After a yo-yo journey, the Waste Tyre Management Plan from the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA) has been approved for ‘€˜immediate implementation’€™ by the country’€™s Minister for Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa.

Following its initial approval in 2011, the plan oscillated between withdrawal, being ‘€˜back on track’€™, being put on hold and even stolen. However, the approved version lacks previously-included waste reduction targets.

REDISA explains: ‘€˜The judge found in favour of us on all counts except one technical issue regarding the insertion of waste reduction targets into the plan after the public comment period, and determined that the plan should be suspended pending a review application. However, he also suggested that the minister could simply withdraw her approval of the plan, and reapply her mind to approving the plan with the insertion removed. This is what the minister has now done.’€™

REDISA Chairman Hermann Erdmann praised the minister for taking ‘€˜such prompt action to resolve the chaos that the suspension of the plan was causing in the tyre industry’€™. He adds: ‘€˜A review application takes months to complete, and for all that time the industry would have had to provisionally set aside funds to pay the fee if the Review Court found in favour of the minister, and deal with refund claims if it found against her.’€™

Around 11 million scrap tyres are dumped in South Africa every year, notes Mr Erdmann. With the Waste Tyre Management Plan now accepted, the government and RESIDA will aim to establish a network of transporters to collect scrap tyres countrywide for supply to recyclers.

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