Company pollutes Kruger rivers

2014-03-14 13:28


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Cape Town – A river in the Kruger National Park has been polluted after the Bosveld Phosphates's plant spilled contaminated water into various rivers that directly run into the park.

According to the Mail and Guardian the chemical plant was once owned by Sasol and produces chemicals used in fertilisers such phosphoric acid.

The polluted water stated spilling on Thursday morning into the Selati River says Dr Stefanie Freitag-Ronaldson a manager at Kruger Park.

The Doctor’s unit has been continually testing the acidity of the water. She noted that the acid levels in the water that flows into the Olifant and Selati River is very high.

Both rivers flow throughout the Kruger National Park and then into Mozambique and finally into the Indian Ocean.

A number of fish have died as a result of the spill and it is difficult to actually gauge the total impact this disaster will have on the park’s environment.

Animals that drink this water may become sick but according to the Mail and Guardian it’s difficult at this time to make a direct link to the polluted water.

The case is being considered by a judge and therefore the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) cannot make comment.

Nigel Adams a director within the department noted that the matter is being monitored.

The NPA is currently evaluating the case and if the courts find the directors of the company guilty they could face five years in jail.

Bosveld Phosphates spokesperson Brian Gibson states that after a storm on 5 March the companies dam overflowed. The dam overflowed for four days.

If something went wrong the company believed that that water from this one dam would only flow. The water would then have its acidity controlled via chemical reduction.

The company is monitoring the rivers and will take reasonable measures to treat its own water says Adams.

This is not the first time the Bosveld Phosphates’s dams have overflowed. A previous spill occurred in December 2013.

One of the company's storm water canals cracked and according to the DWAF at the time the pH level of water within the Olifant river was well below 5.

According to SANParks several hundred fish have died because of these leaks. Ike Phaahla a spokesperson for the organisation says that the environmental impact was widespread.
Read more on:    npa  |  sasol  |  sanparks  |  cape town  |  pollution  |  environment  |  water  |  conservation

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