Will Engen pay for Richards Bay spill?

2014-04-17 11:08

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Cape Town – After the oil spill at Richards Bay nearly a week ago that saw 6 000l of oil being spilled into the port its still remains unclear whether Engen will face action.

According to Transnet National Ports Authority’s general manager, Herbert Msagala, no legal action has been taken against Engen due to the spill.

Msagala believes that figures in terms of punitive damages will only be addressed once an investigation has been done.

According to the Port Act there is a regulatory framework that port users have to follow. When there are transgressions, authorities have to determine whether the act was out of negligence or an accident.

Based on a report on the SABC, investigations on the effects of last week’s spill are still underway. Richards Bay port’s mangrove population was effected the most and according to authorities the real effects will only be seen fully in the next eight months.

It is estimated that nearly 1Ha of the port’s mangroves have been damaged by Engen’s spill.

A corroded pipeline spilled 6 000l of oil on the surrounding fauna and flora, moreover the oil was so thick that it coated the bottom of various docked vessels.

According to Sandra Redelinghuys, the environmental manager for Engen a recovery plan is currently being formulated.

Various environmentalists have argued that the spill happened because of poor maintenance and a lacklustre attitude toward safety.

According to a report on the BDlive site the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance argues that the leak happened because there was no care taken toward maintaining the pipe.

Desmond D’sa, a member from the organisation, said that it was about time that companies are taken to book by government over the damage they cause to the environment.

GroundWork South Africa reiterated the same sentiments.

Read more on:    engen  |  durban  |  environment  |  pollution  |  water

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