Pretoria — The waste sector has the potential to contribute to South Africa’s economy, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said.
“e-Waste management presents an opportunity for job creation and economic development through recycling,” Minister Molewa said.
She was speaking on Friday at a national consultative conference on electronic and electrical waste (e-Waste) management at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Gauteng.
The conference focused on issues around the contextualisation of the e-Waste challenges in South Africa, the management of e-Waste in Municipalities, e-Waste Recycling and Policy and legislative environment.
“We see the waste sector in general and the e-waste sector in particular as a catalyst for socio-economic development,” Minister Molewa said.
She said the waste sector was the source of new businesses and jobs; as well as an important contributor for attaining goals of a cleaner, greener South Africa.
Minister Molewa said every department is managing the e-Waste in silos and there is a need for coordination of efforts to ensure maximum impact.
“Most of the components of e-Waste are recyclable. We therefore need to put systems in place and infrastructure for collection, transportation, sorting and recycling of this waste stream,” she said.
The Department of Environment Affairs said whilst this may seem to be a huge challenge, there are simultaneously huge economic benefits for citizens of South Africa, opportunities for job creation, poverty alleviation and entrepreneurial opportunities from a well-planned, strategically resourced, well regulated, managed and controlled e-Waste system.