A recycling levy on tyres will be introduced next month, the environmental affairs department announced on Tuesday.
Chief director for waste management, Nolwazi Cobbinah, told reporters in Pretoria that the levy would become effective on February 1.
She said the production and importation of new tyres in South Africa would be subjected to the R2.30/kg levy, to be used for the collection and recycling of tyres by the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative South Africa (Redisa).
The levy, which was announced earlier this year, was part of the integrated industry waste tyre management plan and would be put into effect and managed by Redisa.
The income generated from the levy charged to tyre manufacturers and importers would be used for the collection of tyres, distribution to recyclers and research and development.
The plan aimed to create jobs and small and medium-sized businesses in communities throughout the country.
Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said she did not see the resultant recycling of tyres leading to a spate of tyre thefts from parked cars.
She said the levy would “be ring-fenced” for Redisa and would not end up in the general fiscus. All those involved in the tyre industry — manufacturers and importers — have to register with Redisa by January 31.
The South African tyre industry produces more than 10-million scrap tyres a year.
According to Redisa, it is estimated that between 60-million and 100-million scrap tyres are stockpiled in South Africa.
Waste tyres pose an environmental problem, both as pollutants and as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and vermin.
Apart from tyres being burnt for their steel, used tyres can be burnt for energy production, used in the asphalting of roads and in the production of shoes.
“Anyone who uses tyres for energy, must have the appropriate technology,” said Deputy Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Rejoice Thizwilonde.
Cobbinah said she expected a total ban on tyres being dumped at landfill sites within the next five years. — Sapa