The DA creates opportunities while caring for the environment

The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Environment Affairs, Jóhni Edwards MP, during the Budget Vote on Environmental Affairs.
When it comes to waste and waste management this government will not get a gold star for effort.
You don’t have to go very far to see what I mean. Just go to any city, small town or village and see what the landfill sites look and smell like.
Believe me, I know.
I have recently started a roadshow of oversights to landfills all across the country and it is truly surprising that residents in some of these towns do not get sick on a daily basis.
This Department will be the first to say that it is not their function to take care of landfills, it is a municipal function, and therefore the Department is innocent.
However, the truth is that the Department licenses new landfill sites on an annual basis.
Why is this the case? Why are the number of sites not rapidly reduced annually?
Because the Department needs a total change in mind-set with a more proactive approach to recycling, rehabilitation and reducing waste, rather than just dumping it and mixing it into perfectly good soil.
This change in mind-set also needs to apply in the cases of many so-called legal sites that actually still burn the waste that gets delivered by the municipal waste trucks, releasing toxic fumes.
One of the many actual solutions to massive landfills is sustainable recycling.
This ANC government’s approach to recycling is closed, narrow-minded and non-inclusive. It lacks initiative, has zero incentives and creates very little jobs.
Throwing another levy at the problem won’t work either. History has proven this with the ever-failing plastic bag levy.
Talking about initiatives, in Tshwane the DA is in the process of rolling out a methane extraction project, partnering with the private sector. This will create inclusive opportunities and jobs.
On tyre recycling, Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA) was sold to South Africa as the Holy Grail and the solution to our ever growing tyre problem.
This Department failed to effectively monitor and manage REDISA and in so doing has left the gap for the managing directors to manage a bit too much into their own pockets.
After collecting close to R2 billion, they failed to create sufficient jobs, they failed to create an open, inclusive environment and they failed South Africa, similar to what the ANC under Zuma has done.
They also failed to honour their mandate and decided to export tyres instead of dealing with it locally, creating limited jobs and opportunities for South Africans.
Luckily, the DA has a solution.
In 2019, under the DA-led government, we will change the way the Department is administrating waste. We will give waste sufficient value, which will create and aid an ever-growing recycling culture and create much needed jobs, with almost 9 million people unemployed.
We will incentivise it, so that the private sector will become involved, and if the private sector steps in and gains from waste management it will create jobs and opportunities for further jobs along the line.
In this way, the Department will create an open, inclusive environment for everyone to share in.