Coun­try’s waste tyre plan in a cul-de-sac for now

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Roy Cokayne

THE AP­PROVAL by the en­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs depart­ment of the waste tyre plan of the Re­cy­cling and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive of South Africa (Redisa) is un­der threat.

En­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs min­is­ter Edna Molewa yes­ter­day gave no­tice that she was con­sid­er­ing the pos­si­ble with­drawal of Redisa’s in­te­grated in­dus­try waste tyre man­age­ment plan for mul­ti­ple rea­sons, in­clud­ing Redisa’s fail­ure to achieve its ob­jec­tives and the lack of proper gov­er­nance and/or ac­count­abil­ity.

Redisa yes­ter­day con­firmed it had ceased all waste tyre col­lec­tions with im­me­di­ate ef­fect fol­low­ing the change in the Redisa fund­ing model ef­fec­tive from Fe­bru­ary 1 this year.

Redisa rec­om­mended all af­fected par­ties to con­tact the Waste Man­age­ment Bureau at the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on legally dis­pos­ing of waste tyres.

It is the only ap­proved waste tyre plan for the coun­try, a sta­tus that was pre­vi­ously chal­lenged by both the SA Tyre Man­u­fac­tur­ing Con­fer­ence and the Re­tail Mo­tor In­dus­try Or­gan­i­sa­tion. It was ap­proved in 2012 and ex­pires at end-Novem­ber this year.

Her­mann Erd­mann, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Redisa, con­firmed yes­ter­day that Redisa had “filed pa­pers in court with re­gards to its po­si­tion”.

In a no­tice pub­lished in the Gov­ern­ment Gazette, mem­bers of the pub­lic were in­vited to sub­mit writ­ten rep­re­sen­ta­tions or ob­jec­tions about the pos­si­ble with­drawal of the Redisa’s plan.

Molewa gave an as­sur­ance that she was act­ing in the best in­ter­est of the tyre man­age­ment in­dus­try and the pub­lic and would en­deav­our to man­age this process and its out­comes “with the req­ui­site dili­gence and care to en­sure that the re­cy­cling tyre in­dus­try will not be com­pro­mised”.

Redisa’s de­ci­sion to cease all waste tyre col­lec­tions fol­lows the im­ple­men­ta­tion ef­fec­tive from Fe­bru­ary 1 this year of an en­vi­ron­men­tal tyre levy through the Cus­toms and Ex­cise Act.

This re­sulted in the pre­scribed levy of R2.30 a kilo­gram ex­clud­ing VAT be­ing paid to the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) in­stead of di­rectly to Redisa.

Erd­mann claimed Redisa had not been al­lo­cated any funds post Fe­bru­ary 1.

“As a re­sult of not hav­ing re­ceived any fund­ing, and un­til, and if, gov­ern­ment fund­ing has been re­ceived, Redisa has no choice but, for the time be­ing, to cease tyre col­lec­tions,” he said.

Erd­mann said this meant Redisa would no longer col­lect waste tyres from reg­is­tered col­lec­tion points, in­clud­ing mi­cro-col­lec­tors; Redisa de­pots would re­main open but would not be ac­cept­ing any de­liv­er­ies; and de­liv­er­ies to pro­ces­sors would con­tinue as sched­uled un­til fur­ther no­tice.

The SA Tyre Man­u­fac­tur­ers Con­fer­ence, the rep­re­sen­ta­tive body of the do­mes­tic tyre man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, had con­sis­tently ad­vo­cated for the di­rect pay­ment of the levy to Sars. It said this would sup­port of gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to achieve im­proved trans­parency, ac­count­abil­ity, mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion.

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