The UNFCCC has identified the Circular Economy as ‘crucial for the Paris Climate Goals’. On the premise that there is a strong link between climate change and materiality, the Global Circularity Gap Report (2012) argues that additional contributions to NDCs can be made by implementing dematerializing and decoupling Circular Economy strategies globally. While South Africa has identified the important role of the Circular Economy in combating climate change, a clear narrative and strategy to drive the shift to a green economy and economic growth is still missing. An overarching national circular economy policy strategy is needed to encourage coordination and collaborations amongst the government departments and its major stakeholders, including the private sector. The development of a Science, Technology and Innovation-led strategy in the form of a Roadmap for Circular Economy can present a strong policy coordination and planning tool for national departments to clarify their contributions and responsibilities.
The CTCN shall support the Department of Science and Innovation to establish the appropriate process and cooperation to develop a Circular Economy Roadmap for South Africa based on evidence-led and knowledge-based policy making to drive the transition to a circular economy from a systems perspective and taking into account the results of Material Flow Analysis.
The objective is to assist in the effective development of a country-specific STI-led circular economy roadmap, aimed at addressing sustainable resource utilization in South Africa, and with it, climate mitigation and adaptation. This initiative is expected to highlight experiences and identify the circular economy value, definition of benefits, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges, as well as potential projects in South Africa. Thus, raising awareness on the contribution of the Circular Economy in the country and to inform future policy and planning. The roadmap will also assist government departments and stakeholders to fast-track a transition to a Circular Economy in the country and to prioritize and collaborate on the most impactful interventions. This request aligns the National Development Plan goals of South Africa and supports its NDC goals with a clear Circular Economy Roadmap to transition from its international mitigation commitment from a relative “deviation from Business-as-usual” to an absolute peak, plateau and decline greenhouse gas emissions trajectory range.