The Department of Science and Technology's (DST) mission is to develop, coordinate and manage a National System of Innovation (NSI) that will bring about maximum human capital, sustainable economic growth and improved quality of life for all. To this effect, the DST is engaged in fostering innovation, job creation and enterprise development within the South African waste sector, through the implementation of a 10-year national Waste Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap.
The Waste RDI Roadmap, emanates in response to the Global Change Grand Challenge (GCGC) initiative, which recognises the economic opportunity for South Africa in mitigating climate change, under the so called "Green Economy". The Roadmap supports the goals of the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS), National Development Plan (NDP), Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), and Green Economy Accord, by providing the necessary scientific knowledge and technology to help improve the manner in which waste is managed in the country.
The vision of the Roadmap is to stimulate waste innovation (technological and non-technological), R&D, and human capital development (HCD), through the investment in science and technology and in so doing, maximise the diversion of waste from landfill towards value-adding opportunities, including prevention of waste and the optimised extraction of value from reuse, recycling and recovery, in order to create significant economic, social and environmental benefit.
The underpinning contribution of RDI to strengthening South Africa's secondary resources economy is focused on four key Enablers:
- More effective decision-making
- Faster insertion of context-appropriate technology
- Export of know-how and technology
- Strengthened RDI capability and capacity