Project Title: Reconceptualising the Mine: Regulating the EWaste Recycling Sector in South Africa
Research Theme: Value from Waste
Supervisor(s): Hanri Mostert, Jochen Petersen
In fulfillment of an LLM from the University of Cape Town
The thesis will establish that co-operative governance will aid the development of the electronic waste recycling sector in South Africa. If electronic waste (‘e-waste’ hereafter) is regulated with purposeful laws aimed at a clear common goal, e-waste industries will flourish. following thesis answers the question, 'how can cooperative governance aid in the implementation of e-waste regulation?'
E-waste in South Africa, and indeed the world, accumulates rapidly. Electronics either have short life spans by design or are upgraded to respond to technological enhancements. Rapid accumulation coupled with poor regulation, and ineffective or absent e-waste management systems, causes numerous problems. Issues associated with the e-waste sector are largely the environmental and health risks. By accommodating the special nature of e-waste, a gap in South African law is addressed. Regulation is an effective guiding tool to mitigate the issues if implemented effectively.
Co-operative governance serves to maintain intergovernmental relations. Local, provincial, and national spheres are required to respect and support one another’s mandates without causing unnecessary disputes. It is important to unpack co-operative governance in the context of e-waste because very little literature is concerned with the intergovernmental relations in this largely unregulated sector. The development of regulation which favors sustainable growth in the recycling/mining e-waste sector is the aim of the thesis, co-operative governance is the tool with which to till the soil of the legal terrain.