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South Africa

Swiss e-waste programme
e-Waste management in Africa
Funding Agencies:
Hewlett-Packard (HP)
International Partners:
(e-Waste Management in Africa)
Local Partners:
Project Duration:
2003 - 2009
Facilitating the development of a national e-waste management strategy
Launching an e-waste recycling unit in Cape Town
Country Website:
South Africa has some better developed recycling facilities where the majority of the collected e-waste is recycled. However due to the absence of an efficient take back scheme for consumers together with the current lack of appropriate financing mechanisms for collectors and recyclers only a fraction of the e-waste (estimated 10%) currently finds its way to recyclers. The SECO programme is facilitating the development of a national e-waste management strategy jointly with the IT Association of South Africa and the e-Waste Association of South Africa. In local initiatives it supports «Green e-Waste Channels » for Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, guaranteeing safe and controlled disposal of e-waste. Financial sustainability will be achieved through adequate financing schemes. Important is to obtain a maximum value added, to allow for the creation of jobs.
The HP project has been funding the development of a pilot project in Cape Town, South Africa since February 2008, supporting the start-up of a low tech/highly labour intensive material dismantling and recovery facility (MRF) for the pre-processing of e-waste. The aim is to test the feasibility of an integrated value adding local e-Waste management system, designed to maximize the potential of refurbishment, repair, re-use, dismantling and recycling of equipment, with environmentally responsible disposal as a last resort only. The project also seeks to incorporate the current informal e-waste processing activities, by transforming them into sustainable and environmentally sound operations. The MRF acts as a nucleus, raising awareness, and providing training and education to previously disadvantaged individuals as a means of creating opportunities for entrepreneurship in the technical maintenance, dismantling and waste-to-art project sectors.
Project documents:
  • e-Waste assessment South Africa (2008) more »
  • Setting up public e-waste collection points at the municipal level: successes and challenges of Pikitup’s e-waste pilot programme (2008) more »
  • A Material Recovery Facility in Cape Town, South Africa, as a replicable concept for sustainable e-waste management and recycling in developing countries (2008) more »
  • Assessing cost implications of applying best e-waste recovery practices in a manual disassembly material recovery facility in Cape Town, South Africa, using process-based cost modelling (2007) more »
  • A review of South African environmental and general legislation governing e-waste (2007) more »
  • The Green e-Waste Channel: model for a reuse and recycling system of electronic waste in South Africa (2007) more »
  • Mass flow assessment (MFA) and assessment of recycling strategies for cathode ray tubes (CRTs) for the Cape Metropolian Area (CMA), South Africa (2006) more »
  • e-Waste assessment in South Africa, a case study of the Gauteng province (2005) more »
 Important Indicators
 GDP/cap, PPP, in current int. $ (2005) 11'100
 Population in Mio. (2007)  48
 e-waste/cap from PCs in kg (2007)  0.41
Project events:
  • WasteCon'08, 6-10 October 2008, Durban / South Africa
    more »
Further material:


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