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Keep waste tyre levies, lawyers advise

The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) waste tyre management plan has been suspended in its entirety pending finalisation of a high court review application, according to legal opinion obtained by the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

The RMI said it had obtained the legal opinion because of the many confusing e-mails currently doing the rounds on the interpretation of the court ruling in its case against the Environmental Affairs Department and Redisa.

Barnard Incorporated Attorneys said it believed that pending finalisation of the present litigation, no tyre producer would be entitled or obliged to raise a levy on any tyre.

However, the firm urged RMI members to retain the levies that had in the interim been raised and paid during the period from September 21 until November 20 in an account clearly earmarked for such purpose until after finalisation of the present litigation.

“We do not advise tyre producers who have already subscribed to the Redisa plan to unsubscribe and the same applies to dealerships who have registered,” the law firm said.

The RMI was granted a temporary interdict by the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday halting the implementation of the Redisa plan pending the hearing of the RMI’s main application for an order reviewing and setting aside the approval of the plan by Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

This application is only likely to be heard next year.

Hermann Erdmann, Redisa’s chief executive, stressed the judgment had the effect of suspending the implementation of the Redisa plan but did not set it aside or cancel it.

The suspension was interim relief granted pending the outcome of the RMI’s review application, he said.

Erdmann said the judge found in favour of Redisa on all points except one related to whether the inclusion of the waste reduction targets in the Redisa plan constituted a material change, which would have required the plan to be regazetted for comment.

He said the judge did not rule on this but felt it should be determined by the review application and suggested a remedy: the minister could at her discretion regazette the Redisa plan for immediate implementation with the waste tyre reduction targets removed.

Erdmann said Redisa’s understanding was that tyre levy payments for the month of October were payable and would be due on the due date, January 29.

Subscribers were no longer obliged to submit returns but the plan, although suspended, still existed and liability continued to accrue, he said.

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