Minister Releases Report on Durban Chemical Spillage

Written by on 4 October, 2021

By: Zilungile Mkhize

Environment Minister Barbara Creecy says plans are underway to shutdown manufactures of toxic chemicals working under-the-radar in parts of the country.

The minister’s sentiments follow a major toxic fire to Mumbai chemicals giant, United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) in northern Durban in July, which led to thousands of residents being engulfed by the overpowering stench of burning chemicals for weeks.

The fire was caused by arsonists and looters who stormed the warehouse containing toxic pesticides and chemical products during the unrest seen that month.

The toxic smoke from the fire affected an entire ecosystem, which includes the uMhlanga estuary, oHlanga tributary, the beaches and the coastal environment.

Minister Creecy says this may take several years to recover.

She adds that investigators have initiated a criminal investigation in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

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