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Deputy Minister M Sotyu: launch of Cleaning and Greening Programme and Separation of Waste at Source

Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Free State Province, 17 November 2023


Programme director,
Deputy Minister in the Presidency DPME, Hon Ms Pinky Kekana MP
MEC DESTEA , Hon: Mr. Thabo Meeko MPL
MEC for COGTAH, Hon: Mr Mr Ketso Makume MPL
Executive Mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan Cllr: Gregory Ntatisi 
Senior government officials
Esteemed guests
EPWP In-House Model participants
Members of the media 
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning, dumelang

We are gathered here today to witness the historic moment of the launch of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality Cleaning and Greening Programme and the Separation of Waste at Source.

Last week, Minister Creecy hosted the national launch of the Municipal Cleaning and Greening Programme in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.

The Municipal Cleaning and Greening Programme will be implemented in 14 prioritised municipalities across the nine provinces through the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s EPWP mass employment In-House Model, which allows it to implement and manage projects using its own staff.

The mass employment element is done to address the challenge of unemployment and the alleviation of poverty in communities. An allocation of 2000 beneficiaries has been made per province. The department is working closely with provinces and the municipalities for them to augment their numbers to reach the allocated 2000. An additional 4 contract workers will be appointed per province to deal with data capturing and day to day project management.

The proposed expansion to increase the EPWP workers in each Municipality will enable more waste management capacity within these municipalities whilst addressing service delivery, skills development, unemployment, and creating cleaner towns.

The DFFE is also deploying 246 (2 per municipality) youth environmental coordinators (YCOPS) for a (two-year contract) in 234 municipalities. The officials will provide support to local municipalities in the following areas:

  • Supporting initiatives to integrate environmental sustainability in municipal planning,

  • Facilitating and coordinating environmental education and awareness initiatives

The Municipal Cleaning and Greening Programme is dedicated to combating environmental degradation and eliminating litter and illegal dumping throughout our nation. The program's core focus is to achieve these goals through extensive public employment, emphasising empowering women, youth, and individuals with disabilities. At least 2100 participants are being recruited in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality as part of the In-House Model.

The department also contributed to Mangaung Municipality 8 compaction vehicles, 2 landfill compactions, 2 D8 dozers, 3 front end loaders, 3 TLBs, 8 bakkies and 2 tipper trucks amounting to the total value of R 68 400 000.00.

Government has adopted the revised National Waste Management Strategy, 2020 which has three pillars that contribute towards improved waste management. The waste minimisation pillar has the waste diversion target of 45% in five (5) years. This diversion targets require us (national, provincial and local government) to work collaboratively with the private sector on extended producer responsibility. The producers through their producer responsibility organisations that are represented today, have a statutory obligation to recycle the waste that arise from their products upon reaching end-of-life.

These EPR Regulations influence product design to take environmental considerations into account and are currently being implemented for paper, packaging and some single use products, lighting, electrical and electronic products. The department also takes a prioritised approach where necessary, as is the case with plastic waste.

A number of plastic products (plastic packaging - both printed and unprinted) are now regulated under the Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations that are meant to ensure the responsible consumption and production. These include polyolefin, PETs, PVC, vinyl, products manufactured through injection moulding, straws and plastic sheeting, as well as resins and plastic wrappings.

The compliance, enforcement and awareness pillar in the National Waste Management Strategy has ensured collaboration between DFFE, Infrastructure South Africa, provincial and local government. This collaboration has led to the preparation for the gazetting of the Strategic Infrastructure Programme and also advanced work on funding and pricing models. It has also led to the prioritisation of the top 40 landfill sites for improvements. The DFFE has further worked with COGTA and National Treasury to revise the MIG Policy to enable municipalities to purchase yellow fleet that enable amongst others, the daily compaction that improve landfill management.

An element of the Municipal Cleaning and Greening Programme includes planting of trees in the rehabilitated dumping sites and to households as part of the departmental National Greening Strategy. The strategy provides for planting of both indigenous trees in line with the water scarcity of the country and the fruit trees to contribute towards food security.

This also contributes to the Presidential Ten Million Tree Programme, a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to plant a total of 10 million trees over a five year period. The municipalities have a responsibility of ensuring that the trees planted are taken care especially those planted in open areas.

Programme director, today we are equally here to also launch the Separation of Waste at Source (S@S) pilot project which aims to promote and encourage households to separate waste – fostering a recycling culture from source. This will benefit waste pickers who’d collect clean and uncontaminated materials; cutting sorting times and reducing health hazards associated with waste sorting.

Illegal dumping and littering are some of the most common problems in South Africa that affect all municipalities alike, irrespective of the size and extent of the area. The prevalence of this ineffective waste management practices is being witnessed in many parts of the country. This trend, unfortunately, affects the well-being of communities as it indeed resulted in the mushrooming of pockets of illegal dumping and littering. More emphasis is required in ensuring that citizens are mobilized to take a firm position against such activities in the respective communities.

The Separation at Source Project will be implemented in phased-approach. This project seeks to ensure that numbers of households participating in separation at source are increased, it also envisaged to ensure that the waste pickers incorporated in the separation at source programme benefit from clean and non-contaminated materials. The project also seeks to build the recycling economy and improve livelihoods through integration of the informal sector and to better integrate waste pickers into the countries waste economy.

With waste picker integration, the waste sector can contribute to the country’s GDP while mainstreaming and ensuring inclusive growth. Waste pickers are already helping municipalities save landfill space and budgets under the informal and often difficult conditions of waste collection. It is our understanding that waste pickers could collect more good quality materials through separation at source initiatives in municipalities.

I thank you


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