The waste sector in South Africa is not yet formalised but as a result of the recent changes reflected in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (NEM:WA, Act 59 of 2008) has increased in participants over the last ten years. These changes encourage the diversion of waste to landfill by avoiding, reducing, re-using, recycling, and processing used materials rather than condemning them directly to landfill. This significant change in focus has opened a world of opportunities for players interested in getting involved in these newly prioritised activities. According to the 2012 Baseline Report, a total of 59 353 910 tons of waste was generated in South Africa during 2011. Of this approximately only 10% was diverted from landfill, leaving an opportunity of over 53 million tons of waste value.

There are several undisputable drivers in the market including changing legislation, increasing global pressure, decreasing landfill capacity in the country as a whole, the energy crisis, the value to be derived from existing and future waste as well as the job creation that will result from the growth of the sector. While restraints include the cost of extracting value from waste, the question of the ownership of waste, the complications arising from legislative process, a general lack of accountability and skills in the country as well as the lack of community awareness and cooperation. This report attempts to identify and profile current business models for managing waste in the three major cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Tshwane in an attempt to identify future opportunities for both the public and private sector. This includes all waste activities including the sorting, collection, transport, management, recycling and final disposal (if any) of all general and hazardous waste, as well as the facilities to support these activities including transfer stations, material recovery facilities, garden composting sites, hazardous waste treatment centres and landfill sites.

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