The SA Tyre Recycling Process Company (SATRP) has been waiting since July last year for Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa to take a decision on the waste tyre plan it resubmitted to her office following a public consultation process.
Riaan van Niekerk, the chairman of the SATRP board, said on Friday that the company had been sending e-mails to Molewa’s department every two weeks inquiring about the status of its plan but had not received any response.
Van Niekerk said the only response the company had received from the department was that the various court cases against the department about the rival waste tyre plan submitted by the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) were keeping it busy.
However, he said the department had managed to withdraw the approval of the Redisa plan gazetted in July and approved and gazetted an amended Redisa plan “so they can’t be too busy”. The department has in the past been accused of favouritism towards the Redisa plan.
The reference by the SATRP to the withdrawal by Molewa of one version of Redisa’s plan and her approval of another version relates to the judgment made in the North Gauteng High Court last year by Judge Neil Tuchten granting the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) a temporary interdict halting implementation of the Redisa waste tyre plan.
Judge Tuchten said the waste tyre reduction targets in the version of the Redisa plan approved last July were a material provision of the plan but had been entirely omitted from the version published for public comment.
This resulted in Molewa’s withdrawal on November 30 of her approval of the Redisa waste tyre plan gazetted in July and her approval and gazetting of the Redisa plan without the waste tyre reduction targets for implementation with immediate effect.
The RMI applied last month for an order declaring Molewa’s withdrawal of her approval of the Redisa plan gazetted in July null and void and to review and set aside Molewa’s approval of a revised Redisa plan for immediate implementation.
Judge Bert Bam dismissed the RMI’s application with costs but an application by RMI for leave to appeal against this judgment is scheduled to be heard this week.
Jeff Osborne, the chief executive of the RMI, said on Friday that the organisation had convened a special board meeting to establish if there was full support for continuing the court action.
He said the RMI’s board had supported the need to apply for leave to appeal in the interests of the RMI’s members and the broader industry and this application would be heard tomorrow.
Molewa’s spokesman, Mandla Mathebula, failed to respond to a request for comment on whether the department would be opposing the RMI’s application for leave to appeal and the reasons for the delay in Molewa taking a decision on the SATRP’s plan.