Roy Cokayne

The Integrated Tyre Industry Forum (ITIF), comprising representatives from tyre manufacturers, importers, retreaders and dealers, plans to develop an industry waste tyre management plan in conjunction with the SA National Civics Organisation (Sanco).

The ITIF said it had held an “exploratory meeting” with Sanco president and ANC MP Ruth Bhengu last week to assess industry support for the Sanco waste tyre management plan.

ITIF chairman Vishal Premlall said on Friday that the founding meeting between the forum and Sanco was called to formalise the joint initiative and relationship between the organisations. Premlall is also the national director of the Tyre Dealers and Fitment Association, a member of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

“The industry is delighted to be co-operating with the people of South Africa to achieve a lasting and fair solution to the environment as well as support the development aims of the Nedlac [the National Economic Development and Labour Council] accord,” he said.

Premlall said the idea was to develop a single transparent, viable and cost-effective industry waste tyre plan incorporating elements from the separate plans developed by the RMI and the SA Tyre Recycling Process Company (SATRP) with input from Sanco.

He said Sanco had 6.1 million members and a footprint in all communities through a business arrangement with cooperatives, and the ITIF was looking at using this channel as part of the joint waste tyre management plan.

“We are convinced that this type of co-operation will serve the country well in its grass roots development aims. By working together we, the industry, aim to facilitate the empowerment of individuals, to reduce their dependence on the state through inter alia the transfer of skills.

“While [the] industry has no financial interest in this plan, we would like to see a process, which is transparent and equitable, wherein the cost is regulated, thereby minimising the effect on the already burdened consumer,” he added.

Premlall said they hoped to submit the Sanco waste tyre plan to the department within the next eight weeks.

Riaan van Niekerk, the chairman of the SATRP board, said on Friday that he was unable to comment until after the SATRP’s urgent board meeting later this month where the board would vote on the way forward.

Both the RMI and the SATRP have developed their own waste tyre plans but neither of them has been approved yet by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa.

The waste tyre regulations make provision for more than one industry waste tyre plan.

The RMI and SATRP have been at loggerheads with the Environmental Affairs Department over the department’s approval of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa).

This has already resulted in several high court actions by both organisations against the department and another urgent high court application served on the department by the RMI in December is scheduled to be heard this week.

This application seeks to review and set aside the decision by Molewa to withdraw the approval of the previous Redisa plan and approve a new Redisa plan on November 30 for implementation with immediate effect. This followed the RMI on November 20 being granted a temporary interdict by the North Gauteng High Court halting the implementation of the previous Redisa plan.

The RMI believes Molewa acted irregularly and was not permitted in terms of the waste tyre regulations to withdraw one waste tyre plan and approve another for immediate implementation.

The department disagreed with the RMI’s interpretation.