Is govt serious about waste-tyre problem?

16th March 2012 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Editor –

I read your article relating to the waste tyre problem in South Africa with extreme interest, as it sounded like the plan I discussed with government officials last year on how to clear waste tyres, generate employment, create more businesses and generate income by exporting the product derived from the waste tyres.
A colleague from South Africa now resident in the US brought to my attention how the US was disposing of waste tyres.
Further investigation revealed that this process was being used by a number of countries and these countries were extremely successful in producing product for local use as well as for export to other countries.
We did numerous studies to establish whether setting up a similar business in South Africa would be viable. During investigations, it came to our attention that South Africa is importing the raw material derived from waste tyres for the manufacture of rubber products in various industries. Directors of some of these South African companies that import the processed product advised us they would support a South African plant if the product was equivalent to what they were presently importing.
A business plan was drawn up and presented to numerous venture capital companies worldwide, requesting assistance with finance to set up a company in South Africa. With the world economic recession, venture capital companies were hesitant to finance new ventures and we decided on another approach.
My colleague in the US approached the South Africa offices in Houston and presented the business plan to them. This South African official received the presentation with enthusiasm and explained to my colleague the South African Tyre Recycling Process programme and said that the South African government would assist financially, as this was what was needed to clear the waste tyre problem in this country.
From this meeting, my colleague was advised to contact a Charles Manuel, of the Department of Trade and Industry, in South Africa. As I am in South Africa I made the necessary communication with Manuel and, as I am resident in East London, he made arrangements for me to present the business plan to a Mr Nodada of the East Cape Development Corporation.
An appointment was made to present the business plan and I was informed that various other departments would also be present to establish whether this project could be of benefit to them.
A prepared power point presentation was eventually presented to one staff member of Nodada’s office. About 12 months has passed since my presentation and nothing has been heard.
With a worldwide proven method of waste tyre disposal that has the potential to create employment in a number of sectors and generate income for the country, I ask myself the question: Is government really interested in the waste tyre problem?

Graham Trollip
gtrollip@telkomsa.net