Legal action follows toxic spill

2012-02-19 10:36

Durban - The department of water affairs was to take legal action against the company responsible for a cyanide spill in the Ngagane river near Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, according to a report on Saturday.

The department was waiting on investigation results, which should be completed by the end of next week, said acting regional director for water resource management in KwaZulu-Natal Jay Reddy, reported the SABC.

If it was confirmed Karbochem, a synthetic rubber manufacturer, was the culprit of the spill, "the department will hand over the matter to our compliance and monitoring and enforcement unit which will enforce legal action against the company," he said.

Reddy said the culprit would be responsible for compensation to those who had lost cattle as a result of the contaminated water, reported the broadcaster.

The spill was discovered on Thursday morning when cows died after drinking from a stream near a site outside Newcastle, uThukela Water spokesperson Dumisani Thabethe said on Friday.

The cyanide spilled into a stream near the Karbochem site in Newcastle. The stream flows into the Ngagane river which was the source of the area's raw water supplies.

Karbochem spokesperson Jaco Prinsloo said on Friday that the water was "far within the safe and legal limits."

He said the cause of the spillage was being investigated.

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-19 11:06

    Get rid of that company! ! !

  • Geoff - 2012-02-19 11:12

    hey, lets allow these sort of idiots mine via fracking in the Karoo... I'm sure it was a once off accident and won't happen again...not. The problem with this is in the Karoo, one such spill will ruin the water for many, many miles, and essentially destroy the Karoo.

  • Trevor - 2012-02-19 11:26

    Legal limits my ass...we going to become like China if this crap is just paid off...China at the moment has NO clean water, goto China, you HAVE to buy bottle water,you can't even bath long term in their water due to excessively HIGH chlorine, even steam contaminated with chlorine penetrates your skin & lungs...etc...hit this company HARD and if they just close avoid their commitment then, find out their other business interests and hit them as well!!! This kinda rubbish must not start in SA for the sake of profit!

  • Morongwa Bernard Mohloana - 2012-02-19 12:25

    And juju, when rig tenders its could corruption at its best and people with MBAs does it we call kickbacks

  • Dirk - 2012-02-20 08:54

    Good idea. We all should face the consequences of our actions. They should pay for putting people's health in jeopardy. Read more on water safety at and like our Facebook page for regular updates.

  • comurray - 2012-02-21 15:28

    If this is a BEE company then nothing much will happen apart from a slap on the wrist. Maybe a small bribe will give them safe passage.

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