In order to measure the growth of the waste sector over the next few years, a quantitative baseline of the waste sector was undertaken by the CSIR on behalf of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The study, which ran between April and August 2013, was the first organisational waste sector survey to be conducted for South Africa and provided interesting insights into the sector, including the adoption of technological and non-technological innovation.
Employing a minimum of 29,833 people, the formal South African waste sector (public and private) is estimated to have a financial value of at least R15.3 billion, or 0.51% of GDP (as at 2012). However, spend on waste research and development (R&D) and human capital development (HCD) remains low for the waste sector. The minimum spend on waste R&D for 2012 was R50.2m, approximately 0.33% of the value of the total sector, while the spend on waste HCD for 2012 was R429m, approximately 2.8% of the value of the sector.