National Environmental Management: Waste Act No. 59 of 2008

WASTE Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008)


  • To reform the law regulating waste management in order to protect health and the environment by providing reasonable measures for the prevention of pollution and ecological degradation and for securing ecologically sustainable development;
  • To provide for institutional arrangements and planning matters;
  • To provide for national norms and standards for regulating the management of waste by all spheres of government;
  • To provide for specific waste management measures;
  • To provide for the licensing and control of waste management activities; to provide for the remediation of contaminated land;
  • To provide for the national waste information system;
  • To provide for compliance and enforcement;
  • and to provide for matters connected therewith

Government Notice no 33880 - Amendments to the Waste Management Activity (WMA) List
[Waste management activities in respect of which a waste management licence is required in accordance with section 20 [b] of NEMA WASTE Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008)].

For other relevant environmental legislation: Department of Environmental Affairs - Policy and Legislation section. www.environment.gov.za

Waste related legislation in South Africa includes the following: (available from acts.co.za or polity.org.za)

  • The South African Constitution (Act 108 of 1996)
  • Hazardous Substances Act (Act 5 of 1973)
  • Health Act (Act 63 of 1977)
  • Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993)
  • National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998)
  • The National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998)
  • Municipal Structures Act (Act 117 of 1998)
  • Municipal Systems Act (Act 32 of 2000)
  • Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002)
  • Air Quality Act (Act 39 of 2004)
  • National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act 59 of 2008) - see above

For other waste related legislation, policies, regulations, see: SAWIC waste policy and regulations
SAWIC Draft documents available for comment

The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS)

The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) is a statutory requirement of the recently promulgated National Environmental Management: Waste Act. The new strategy will build on the previous Waste Management Strategy published in 1999, as well as the extensive inputs from stakeholders made during the process of developing the Waste Act.

Four phases are envisaged for the strategy, with an inception phase producing a framework for the strategy, followed by a phase of baseline research, then formulation of the first draft, followed by consultation and finalisation of the strategy.

The National Waste Management Strategy homepage provides an overview of the development process as well as an opportunity for members of the public, businesses, consumer groups, NGO's and other civil organisations to provide feedback and input into the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) as it is developed.

Policy documents & standards

Provincial Legislation

Contact your provincial government for:

  • Waste Minimisation Strategy and plans
  • Integrated Waste Management plans
Eastern Cape

Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs

Free State

Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs


Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

KwaZulu Natal

Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs


Department of Economic Development, Environment & Tourism


Department of Economic Development, Environment & Tourism

North West

Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Rural Development

Northern Cape

Department of Environment and Nature Conservation

Western Cape

Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning

Local Municipal Legislation

Contact your local municipality for:

  • Waste Management By-laws
  • Integrated Waste Management plans - required in terms of Chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act