A guideline for local authorities : legal and functional requirements for the drafting and implementation of waste management by-laws
Massyn, Nicolai Spies
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By-laws are considered to be one of the primary tools of local government to enable them to manage and regulate the affairs of their constituent jurisdictions. It is therefore of critical importance that bylaws are current, not in conflict with provincial and national legislation, efficient and in line with practical requirements, and empowers the local authority sufficiently to manage its own affairs. There are three major causes that require local authorities to change and update by-laws. The first major cause is the re-organisation of the pre-1994 municipal boundaries. The second is the change to a constitutional dispensation that created three distinct spheres of government with their defined areas of legislative and executive powers. The third is the new order environmental legislation and philosophy that is in line with internationally accepted principles of sustainable development and human rights, and differs from the pre- 1994 legislation. The principle of cooperative governance requires local authorities not to be in conflict with other organs of state or national and provincial legislation. The result is that many local authorities require new by-laws, including waste management by-laws. Many such projects were undertaken by local authorities, one by the City of Johannesburg as part of the iGoli 2000 project. The by-laws also have to adequately capacitate the local authority to regulate all aspects of waste management in a practical and functional manner. These practical and functional requirements must be considered and included in the waste management by-laws where relevant. A guideline should as a minimum cover the following elements: -ensuring cooperative governance, -ensuring compliance with specific requirements set by the Constitution and other legislation such as the Municipal Systems Act, -alignment of by-laws with the legal mechanisms available for service delivery, and -ensuring it provides guidance on what elements should be considered to meet the practical and functional requirements of local authorities. This dissertation provides a guideline that meets criteria set out in legislation, policies and strategies. The discussion encompasses a vast field of the law and waste management practice, and attempts to provide local authorities with an introduction and references to the most salient aspects that has to be considered when drafting and implementing waste management by-laws.