The Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI) mission is to develop, coordinate and manage a National System of Innovation (NSI) that will bring about maximum human capital, sustainable economic growth and improved quality of life for all. To this effect, the DSI is engaged in fostering innovation, job creation and enterprise development within the South African waste sector, through the implementation of a 10-year national Waste Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap.
The Waste RDI Roadmap, emanates in response to the Global Change Grand Challenge (GCGC) initiative, which recognises the economic opportunity for South Africa in mitigating climate change, under the “Green Economy”. The Roadmap supports the goals of the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS), National Development Plan (NDP), Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), Green Economy Accord, and the outcomes of the Chemicals and Waste Phakisa, by building national capacity and providing the necessary scientific knowledge and technology to help improve the manner in which waste is managed in the country.
The vision of the Roadmap is to stimulate waste innovation (technological and non-technological), R&D, and human capital development (HCD), through the investment in science, technology and innovation (STI). And in so doing, maximise the diversion of waste away from landfill towards value-adding opportunities, including prevention of waste and the optimised extraction of value through reuse, recycling and recovery, in order to create significant social, economic and environmental benefit.
The underpinning contribution of RDI to strengthening South Africa’s secondary resources economy is focused on four key enablers:
- More effective decision-making
- Strengthened RDI capability and capacity
- Faster insertion of context-appropriate technology
- Export of know-how and technology