South Africa: Water Sector in South Africa Needs to Transform to a Circular Economy


Implementation of circular economy principles in the South African water sector is in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change to which South Africa is a signatory.

The concept of a circular economy has received significant attention on various platforms. In contrast to the current conventional linear economic model, the circular economy concept is a development strategy enabling economic growth aiming to optimise the chain of consumption of materials. In this regard, significant transformation of production chains and consumption patterns is required to keep materials circulating in the economy for longer. While there are some elements of circularity in South Africa, such as recycling and composting in the linear economy, a circular economy goes beyond the pursuit of waste prevention and waste reduction to inspire technological, organisational and social innovation across and within value chains.

Regions that have made significant progress in promotion of the circular economy are the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea and part...

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