Industries in the North West province will soon have access to a more sustainable waste disposal option, while also providing small companies with business opportunities stemming from these waste streams. This is due to the upcoming launch of a provincial Industrial Symbiosis (IS) programme by the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) and the North West provincial government on Wednesday, 28 February 2024.

As of 2011, South Africa is estimated to generate 108 million tonnes of waste, with 98 million tonnes (or 90%) being disposed of in landfills. IS is a globally recognised method that promotes circularity, diverts waste from landfills and creates entrepreneurship opportunities by facilitating synergetic relationships between companies with underutilised resources and those requiring these resources for producing other goods.

In 2022, an estimated 215 000 tonnes of waste were diverted from landfills through IS initiatives in South Africa. The waste is used by other entities, often small and micro enterprises, as inputs for various products and processes.

Victor Manavhela, the NCPC-SA National Programme Manager, said, “Building a circular economy through IS is crucial for achieving a just, equitable and sustainable society, as well as for levelling the playing field for start-ups and small companies.”

“The NCPC-SA is currently implementing this innovative reuse and recycling solution in seven provinces: Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. Each programme has demonstrated its value, bolstering provincial economies, fostering partnerships between government and industry, and cultivating new industries and emerging entrepreneurs.”

North West is known as South Africa’s platinum hub, with mining serving as a primary economic driver. “Mining is the mainstay of our province, with agriculture as a significant secondary industry, alongside sectors like manufacturing that contribute to our waste streams,” said Basadi Moselakgomo, Director at the Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism.

“The various waste produced by these sectors often ends up in landfills, posing environmental and health risks. We are confident that the NCPC-SA’s intervention will help address the waste challenge and create employment opportunities for the youth,” she added.

Companies and individuals interested in participating in the launch can register on the NCPC-SA website ( or contact Matimba Makhani at for more information.