Market intelligence

GreenCape’s Waste Sector Desk's Market Intelligence Report is aimed at investors and businesses with an interest in alternative waste treatment technologies and services in the Western Cape and South Africa.  The report outlines the changes in the waste management landscape and presents opportunities for businesses and investors in an expanded waste management sector.

Opportunities: fast facts

Municipalities in the Western Cape are in the process of implementing PPP to that will potentially attract R1.3 billion in investment and create 1600 jobs over the next five years. Legislation has also been passed to help unlock the potential R25.2 billion recycling market in South Africa. Opportunities include:

Mainline Recyclables (Paper, glass and plastics)

  • This will be driven largely by mechanical recycling by PROs, material converters and producers with support by national and local government.


  • The Western Cape generates about 2.9 million tonnes of organic waste per annum, which includes agricultural waste.
  • National legislation changes and provincial moves to ban landfill of organics will contribute to further growth.  


Driven by the global market of R12 billion per annum, 80% of metals are recycled in South Africa. Legislation stipulates that 30% of all metal must be resold to the national market.

  • The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac), is working to develop the local market. They have proposed amendments to the price preference system, forcing national retention of materials.
  • There is a technology gap between South Africa and the global market. The latter can offer higher prices for scrap material, while processing is cheaper. 


South Africa has over 20 e-waste recycling companies that provide a variety of services, from refurbishment to metal extraction. Collectively, they process only 12% of e-waste, or 45 000 tonnes.

  • The aim of draft Industry Waste Management Plan (IndWMP) is to increase the recycling of eWaste to 20% over the next five years.
  • This is an attractive opportunity for SMMEs – compared to dry recyclables, there are fewer barriers to establishing an e-waste dismantling business. The job factor is also higher - 30 jobs are created for every 1000 tonnes diverted.

Construction and demolition waste

One of the biggest opportunities in the recovery, processing and application of builders’ rubble lie in the uptake of material into roads. There are, therefore, opportunities on the supply side for the crushing industry, and on the demand side in road material, for both the public and private sectors.

  • The current crushing capacity in the City of Cape Town is over 17 000 m3 per month.  With extra capacity and further investment, a further 38 000 m3 per month will become available available over the next two years.
  • Due to the scarcity of landfill airspace, incentives to divert wastes and disincentives to dispose of wastes may be implemented by municipalities in the next five years.
  • Opportunities for the crushing sector include tenders for crushing contractors at the City of Cape Town and Stellenbosch landfills.

GreenCape’s work in this space

GreenCape’s Waste Programme focuses on supporting the development of a thriving, legally compliant and labour absorptive secondary materials industry in the Western Cape. Our ultimate goal is for the sector to exemplify and contribute to a resource efficient and low carbon economy.

The Waste Sector desk at GreenCape has grown as a result of the level of understanding of the waste economy in the Western Cape. The sector desk has worked with various industry stakeholders, academia and government to understand challenges, such as legislation, and to identify waste-to-energy opportunities in the region.

Our work in the waste sector has expanded beyond municipal waste, to opportunities for biogas and organic waste. Businesses and investors are able to interact with the team and other industry players through our working groups and networking events, where issues, challenges and opportunities can be discussed.

For other related tools, resources and information see the Library. 

News and events

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Kees Kwant, a Senior Expert on Bioenergy and Biobased Economy at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl). Read more

Upcoming Workshop 5 May 2017: Transitioning to a circular economy in South Africa

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