Dirty stream could lead to protest

2014-07-29 00:00

A POLLUTED stream running into a bird sanctuary could lead to a community protest outside a south Durban industrial park.

But exactly who is polluting the stream is unclear and what action has been taken by the eThekwini Metro is equally opaque, but environmentalists in Amanzimtoti are adamant that the stream — which feeds into the Amanzimtoti River — is still full of pollutants.

Non-profit lobby group AfriForum said they intend to protest outside the Southgate Industrial Park in August. “There are various tenants within the park but we want the transgressor to be identified by the other tenants and remedial action to follow,” said AfriForum’s provincial co-ordinator, Chris Fourie.

He said they have undertaken their own water tests at the natural bird sanctuary with preliminary results showing high levels of e-coli, grease, oils and soaps.

Chairperson of the Toti Conservancy in Amanzimtoti, Laura Taylor, said the pollution in the river — which has led to foaming and discolouration — has been ongoing for several months. “The stream runs through the Amanzimtoti bird sanctuary and into the Red Sands indigenous forest providing water to local blue duiker and other species. It is a fragile eco-system,” said Taylor.

Taylor, who joined a municipal inspection unit of the industrial park in June, said it was clear that a tenant was polluting. The city took water samples. “The business we visited uses various chemicals to make its product. They had a wash bay inside and a drain taking the water waste into a storage facility. What we found was the drain was blocked and the effluent was running into a storm water drain which would eventually run into the stream.”

The business visited by the city is known to The Witness, however, it could not be confirmed if they were fined for polluting. Attempts to get clarification from city officials were unsuccessful.

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