4th Waste Management Officers Khoro

Event date: 
2013-10-14 (All day) to 2013-10-16 (All day)


Introduction and background
Theme and messaging
What is Waste?
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Introduction and background


Waste is commonly described as any substance that is surplus, unwanted, rejected, abandoned or disposed of wherein the generator has no further use of. It is somewhat unavoidable in most instances but may have an economic value when reused, recycled or recovered. Economic development, urbanization and the move towards improving living standards in South Africa, have led to an increase in the quantity and complexity of waste generated.

The exponential increase in population coupled with modernization places serious stress on natural resources which further undermines equitable and sustainable development. As human societies evolve in scale and complexity, so too are the waste management challenges. However in South Africa, issues and problems of waste management have been acknowledged and brought to the front through in part; the promulgation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008); hereinafter referred to as the Waste Act.

The gradual increase of waste generated in South Africa, has contributed to the historical backlog of inadequate waste services which lead to unpleasant living conditions and a contaminated, unhealthy environment.

Furthermore, challenges are mounting in the areas of waste management infrastructure, facilities and thus maintenance thereof. Disposal of waste by landfill was a common practice in the country and this became problematic as population grew with additional sectors of industry. This practice placed Municipalities with various entities of government under tremendous pressure with regards to maintenance and management of waste as well as finding suitable land for waste disposal. This challenge leaves the country with no other option other than t seek measures to divert waste away from landfills and direct it to other waste management options such as reuse, recycling, recovery and energy generation.

While urbanisation has contributed to economic growth, rapid growth in the population has on the other hand over-whelmed the capacity of most municipalities to provide basic services for their communities. Municipalities are constitutionally mandated to provide waste management services. Whilst endeavouring to provide these services (storage, collection, transportation, and disposal), they are also faced with challenges in patterns of planned and unplanned growth and urbanisation in the country, the capacity to pay for, plan for; and effectively manage waste throughout its life cycle. However the shift to the implementation of the waste management hierarchy has proved effective, though there is still much work to be done until a process of implementing the “hierarchical” approach overtakes landfills as the preferred option of waste management.

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2013 Theme


The theme for 2013 is “Making the Management of Waste a collective effort.” Discussions at the Khoro will be centralised around the implementation of the National Development Plan, the Outcome 10 service delivery agreements, and the National Waste Management Strategy which prioritises the development of clean and sustainable environments for all and most importantly, the participation of all citizens in development matters. Waste management is central to the improvement of the standard of living and has a potential to alleviate poverty through job creation opportunities which exist in waste collection, recycling and other forms of waste management in general.


Waste management hierarchy:

What is the Waste Khoro?

The Waste Management Officers (WMO) Khoro (conference in the Vhenda language) is an annual conference of all government institutions dealing with waste. The aim of this conference is to provide a platform for WMOs in the three spheres of government to share information and exchange thoughts in a mutually beneficial manner. It further aims to strengthen capacity and streamline the institutional framework across government entities to enhance effective waste management.

Objectives of the Waste Khoro

The evolution of national legislation, policy, agreements and research in waste management led to the promulgation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No.59 of 2008). The passing of this Act by parliament has reformed the law regulating waste management and also offers direction for the coordination of all waste management efforts to protect the environment and human health by providing reasonable measures for the prevention of pollution and ecological degradation and for securing ecologically sustainable development.

In addition to other multiple provisions; the Waste Act in section 10; provides for the designation of Waste Management Officers (WMOs) in the three spheres of the government whose main task is the coordination of waste management efforts between the three spheres of government, the private sector and the general public.

The main objectives of the Khoro are

  • to set a platform for the effective implementation of the Waste Act by the three spheres of government;
  • to discuss challenges and lessons learnt in the implementation of the Waste Act;
  • to exchange information on best practice in waste management service delivery;
  • to discuss and agree on the dimension shift in promoting the waste management hierarchy approach;
  • to re-emphasise the role of government authorities when it comes to authorisation of waste activities and ensure consistency where applicable;
  • to create and raise awareness on waste management; and
  • to put strategies in place which will put waste at the top of government service delivery agenda.

Follow the link below for more background information on the previous conferences.

>>3rd Waste Management Officers (WMO) Khoro (2012).


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Presentations (at the 4th Waste Management Khoro)


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