R460m tax to recycle used tyres
TREADING HEAVILY ON NATURE: Tyre dumps such as this could disappear from the countryside if a tyre-recycling plan reaches fruition.
Players in the tyre recycling sector on Thursday welcomed the government's gazetting of a revised tyre recycling plan and the publishing of a levy - read extra tax - on new tyres.
Road users could be coughing up a whopping R460-million a year to finance the project.
The SA Tyre Recycling Process Company's general manager, Ika van Niekerk, said there was now movement on the matter. "The issue of the tyre recycling plan has been dragging on for more than 12 years. Finality on the matter is long overdue," he said.
Under the revised plan, Gazetted by water and environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa in the edition of July 23, vehicle owners will pay a levy of R2.30/kg on new tyres to finance a more efficient method of collecting, recyling and disposing of worn-out tyres. An extract from the published plan reads:
"This plan will be funded through a per-kilogram levy on tyres manufactured in or imported into South Africa. The rands/kilogram cost is determined on the basis of all operational and capital costs required to make the plan work and is currently set at R2.30/kg."
The new levy is set to go into operation in October but Niekerk said the publishing of one plan was not sufficient as legal regulations provided for more than one plan. He wanted the government to Gazette another.
"We want to be able to choose between the Redisa (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of SA) plan and any other plan. There is another plan, which is in the minister's possession, and we sincerely hope she will activate it."
TONS OF TYRES
In January the government withdrew its approval for the original waste-tyre management plan soon after announcing it. At the time, the department said the withdrawal would give it an opportunity to attend to procedural requirements stipulated in waste-tyre regulations.
South Africa produces nearly 200 000 tons of waste tyres each year but only about five percent are recycled, according to an environmental affairs department spokesman.
"Waste tyres do not compact and are therefore not welcome in landfills. They are either burned for the small amount of metal that can be retrieved from them or are piling up in illegal storage sites which are fire hazards and breeding grounds for mosquitoes."