Helping our hazardous waste clients stay compliant

South African’s hazardous waste registers

Around ten years ago the South African Waste Information System (SAWIS) was established, part of the Waste Management Act. It is a system used by the government and industry to capture routine data on the tonnages of waste generated, recycled and disposed of in South Africa on a monthly and annual basis. Since 2012, South African law requires certain companies to register either on national this system, or one of the other two regional registers which complement it: GWIS (Gauteng Waste Information System) or Western Cape’s iPWIS (Integrated Pollutant and Waste Information System). If you are signed up on GWIS or iPWIS you don’t have to sign up on SAWIS as the regional department will submit your reported tonnages to SAWIS.

Who must register?

Waste management and recycling companies, including Averda need to register on the system, as do car scrap yards. Naturally Averda’s own registration is up to date and correct. But the government also requires businesses that generate waste to register with SAWIS if they...

Generate over 20kg of hazardous waste per day.

Hazardous waste is waste with dangerous properties which can harm human health or the environment. They can be either in a form of liquid, solid, or sludge and contains a chemical, heavy metals, radiation, pathogens, or other materials.

A wide range of activities can produce potentially hazardous by-products including manufacturing, farming, water treatment system, automotive garages, construction, laboratories, hospitals, and other industries. Households can also generate hazardous waste from items like batteries, using a computer or IT equipment, leftover paints and pesticides.

Companies have 30 days from triggering this threshold to register.

When a company registers on the system they are given a DEA registration number. This unique number needs to be included in all the manifest documents associated with the waste that we receive.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Any person who fails to comply with these reporting regulations commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding fifteen (15) years; an appropriate fine; or both fine and imprisonment.

How do I sign up?

Registering with SAWIS is not difficult. It can be done online or on paper (hardcopy). We need ALL our clients that produce hazardous waste over 20kg per day to register – either with SAWIS, Gauteng or Western Cape registries, but our customer service experts can help you through the process.

Online: The South African Waste Information Centre (SAWIC) is the landing page. Once users register, through the central registry, access is gained to the SAWIS for data submission and reporting purposes.

Via post – by downloading the manual form on the SAWIC website and posting it to the National Department of Environmental Affairs.

All the information the clients might need is available here: