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of 1977. The potential health risk implications of waste and specifically hazardous waste make

EngineerIT - October 2006

this Act pertinent. Section 20 places the obligation on local authorities to ensure that their areas of jurisdiction are maintained in a clean hygienic condition. Sections 34 and 38 authorise the minister of health to make regulations which have relevance to waste management.

Many substances contained in e-waste are considered hazardous waste and these are listed in Annex 1 of The Basel Convention for the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste. South Africa is a party to the Convention which came into force in 1992 and currently has 162 parties world-wide. As a party to the convention the South African government is obliged to develop national legislation in line with the provisions of the convention.

The Hazardous Substances Act: Act No. 15 of 1973 provides the regulations to control the management of hazardous substances and the disposal of hazardous waste.

With this background the eWASA Blueprint for e-Waste Management in South Africa envisages an industry-led take back system with legislative requirements for producers/

importers/distributors to take back old and end- of life products. In a successful system, the focus will be on reduce, repair, reuse, recycle effectively, minimising waste and hazardous waste disposal. A visible advanced recycling fee (ARF) will be charged from the producer down to the consumer. These funds will be used to fund the logistics of an e-waste management system and the non-economically viable part of e-waste recycling as well as final disposal of material that cannot be recycled.

The ARF will be adjusted according to market forces to ensure that it is as low as possible at all times. The funds will be managed by an industry body/initiative similar to Swiss Association for Information, Communications and Organisation Technology (SWICO) in Switzerland. A third party will audit the operation of the system to ensure that the system is not abused.

See http://www.e-waste.org.za/report.htm for the full Gauteng e-Waste Report and Appendix 3 to the report for a full list of the existing South African legislative framework with regard to the hazardous substances contained in e-waste.

Contact Lene Ecroignard, eWASA, Tel (012) 349-1130, lene@baselpretoria.org.za

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