South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Petrol Pipeline Leak -- Health and Safety Compromised

Press Release

-- From Notice of Public Meeting to be held on 3 October, 2001

On the 7th July 2001, Sapref (Shell/BP) confirmed a leak in their petrol pipeline after complaints from residents of unbearable noxious odours. Since then, Sapref gave the "all clear" to residents on the health implications resulting in a false sense of safety. Recently Sapref revealed under pressure from the residents in Angelier/Tambotie Roads that the benzene levels were high (benzene being a known cancer-causing agent) resulting in the industry offering to relocate houses in the vicinity of the leak.

The SDCEA has been calling for a total replacement of the pipeline instead of the present patchwork which does not guarantee the immediate safety of people with the strong possibility of further leaks. However, industry is not replacing the already dysfunctional pipeline, which runs all the way from the refinery through Merebank, Wentworth & the Bluff all the way to Island View, compromising the health & safety of a large population. Recent reports have revealed the dogs in the area are dying from exposure together with people being sick.

Residents need to exercise their rights to a clean and healthy environment with maximum protection and safety and ensure that further leaks are avoided.