Creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities through tyre waste


Tyre waste is a growing problem in South Africa; particularly as approximately 11 million used tyres are dumped illegally each year.  Through the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan, REDISA is building a viable and sustainable new tyre recycling industry, with a core focus on developing job creation and economic opportunities while eradicating the environment of harmful waste.

REDISA, as the facilitator and administrator of the tyre waste management process,has incorporated stakeholders from both the formal and informal business sector to play a part in the plan.  To achieve this, REDISA has collaborated with the Department of Trade and Industry, to ensure community involvement and job creation in the informal sector. A significant benefit for the formal recycling sector is guaranteed supply of waste tyre feedstock, at no cost, to ensure the continued viability of the businesses.

Driving Entrepreneurship

Developing the entrepreneurial spirit is an important economic driver and poverty eradicator for South Africa, and as such the REDISA Plan seeks to support small business owners. Through this activity, REDISA will include 40 small to medium enterprises by the end of 2014, with an additional 200 SMME’s included into the plan by 2017.

The range of opportunities created by the REDISA Plan will result in the creation of1500 job opportunities in 2014, with the target being a total of 10 000 jobs created by 2017.  

Growing the existing waste picker programme

Core to the REDISA plan is the inclusion of informal players such as waste pickers, of whom at least 500 will be incorporated into the plan within the next month.

While there is currently an estimated 88 000 people who make their living as waste pickers in South Africa, the occupation is still informal and is not included in the waste management process. Currently, waste pickers can earn up to R120 per day by selling recyclables and have been lobbying for the right to be included into the formal waste management system. REDISA sees the value in incorporating this sector particularly as they are able to offer invaluable knowledge in terms of where waste tyres are located in and around landfills and their community; as well as who is dumping waste tyres and where they are dumping them.


Operationally, REDISA has attained a number of milestones since implementation began. These include 696 transporters, 1638 tyre dealers and 181 tyre manufacturers and importersregistered with the Plan nationally.

By end March, 21 677 tonnes of tyre waste have been remediated and REDISA is well on its way to achieve the target of 70 000 remediated tyres by the end of 2014.  So far, 10 recyclers have become beneficiaries of remediated tyres which they turn into saleable products.

Commenting on the opportunities presented to SME’s, Stacey Davidson, director at REDISA said, “The number and different types of products that can be made by repurposing tyre waste is phenomenal. In the short period we have been operational, we have worked with a variety of small businesses that use tyre waste to make a vast selection of products. These range from industrial scale mats for school grounds and safety bollards for use on the highways, to smaller home industry merchandise including furniture and even jewellery. As the implementation of the REDISA Plan continues to roll out nationally, we look forward to providing job and entrepreneurial opportunities to a wider range of interested parties.”

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Issue 45


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