Image: Redisa

The liquidation of Redisa provokes concerns over the government’s capability to ensure rational management of thousands of tons of waste tires accumulated in South Africa.

Despite the fact that it is still not clear how the department of environmental affairs will craft their long-term solution for waste tire processing, the fight between the minister and the organization responsible for waste tire recycling has not led to staggering piles of used tires, as it was first predicted.

June 1 was the day when the minister was given a provisional liquidation order against the Recycling & Economic Development Initiative of South Africa. Redisa’s representatives are now contending its shutdown. The case was taken to the Cape high court this July.

The representative of the Tire Dealers & Fitment Centre Association (TDAFA), Hedley Judd, explains that Redisa implements waste tire collection in a sensibly sound way; however no indication is given as for what will occur in the longer term.

Managing executive of the South African Tire Manufacturers Conference, Nobuzwe Mangcu, says that urban and rural areas still see waste tire collection as always.

246,631 tons of waste tires have been produced in South Africa in 2011, and only 4% of this amount was further processed; the remaining waste was sent to landfills. The problem with tires being stored at landfills is that they provide a perfect environment for bacteria and insects to breed; they also result in toxic fumes created as a result of uncontrolled incineration, which may occur from time to time.

Redisa was established to solve the issue via expanding of tire recycling and creating new jobs in the meantime. The company took a fee of R2.30/kg on new tires, and these fees could be used for processing and waste tire assortment. The South Africa Revenue Service became in charge of waste tire fee collection earlier this year as a result of altered legislation. Redisa failed to conform to the new funding model, which has led to the application to liquidate the organization under certain conditions.

This is not the only issue Redisa has faced. A Carte Blanche program exposed concerns, which dominated the industry, such as Redisa’s failure to create sufficient number of jobs, its incompetence in rational money-spending and its exporting waste tires instead of recycling them locally.

Given that the department does not serve as a creditor, and the organization get funding not from government, but from waste tire fees levied on public, Redisa claims that the minister has no power to initiate Redisa’s liquidation, as stated in court papers.

Redisa owns an evergreen mandate, which can be renewed every five years, says Stacey Davidson, a director of Redisa. During the first five years, it created a tire collection system and the further plan is to propel market demand.

Davidson doubts that government can provide a replacement scheme or can become in charge of the formation created by Redisa’s private management firm, Kusaga Taka Consulting.

According to Judd, several months ago the department demanded industry remarks and data for a longer-term scheme. TDAFA made a presentation on behalf of importers, producers and dealers, however it would be beneficial if director-general or the minister could support a workshop in association with industry where they could talk over the alternatives and the ways of introducing a new waste tire management scheme.

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