South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Press Releases

Launch of “Behind The Shine” - The Real Impacts Of Shell’s Work Around The World, 24 June, 2004
groundWork (Friends of the Earth South Africa) and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) formed part of a network of organizations, headed by Friends of the Earth that launched a new report titled “ Behind the Shine - The other Shell Report 2003” today (Wednesday 23 June), ahead of the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in London. Read Full Text

Engen Flaring in South Durban - The Torture Continues, 8 August 2003
The SDCEA has just reported a 3-hour long flaring incident to both Engen and City Health. The flare was apparently due to a brief power dip at the plant. The smell of the fumes were very strong and many residents reported having severe sinus headaches and feelings of nausea. Read Full Text

Global Protests Against Incineration Signal Death Knell for Deadly Technology, 14 July 2003
More than 235 groups from 62 countries today took action against waste incineration to serve notice to their governments that time is running out on the controversial technology despite vigorous attempts by the incineration industry to repackage their burners as renewable energy or modern thermal systems for waste disposal. Read Full Text

Judge Declares Dodgy Decision a Nullity, 9 July 2003
Heavily polluted communities of south Durban can take solace in the fact that the Mondi-Biotrace Combuster proposal will not be allowed to be given the go ahead by the provincial environmental department. Read Full Text

Dying to breathe: "My environment - damaging my life," 4 June 2003, World Environment Day
For most South Africans World Environment Day will be little different from any other day of the year. The plain truth is that for some of us South Africans the simple act of breathing can be killing us. Read Full Text

Relocation Nightmare Continues for Poor South Durban Communities, 26 May 2003
Community members attended a meeting on Wednesday, 26 May 2003 at the Isipingo Civic Centre on what they were led to believe was the rezoning of a section of Airport land (No.14263) and were shocked to discover that it was actually a crude oil storage facility development proposal managed by consultants, SIVEST, on behalf of the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) and NATREF, a crude oil refinery situated in Sasolburg. Read Full Text

DAEA Minister Restrained From Approving Mondi Biotrace Combuster, 6 May 2003
Judge Piet Combrinck today granted an order in the Durban High Court interdicting and restraining the Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs (KZN) from making a decision on an Appeal submitted to him by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA). Read Full Text

Shell Challenged at AGM by Community Activist Shareholders, 22 April 2003
Community and civil society activists representing groundWork and the SDCEA will be participating as shareholders at the Royal Dutch Shell AGMs being held concurrently in London and The Hague tomorrow, April 23, 2003. They will join an international coalition of civil society organisations calling on Shell to be held accountable for polluting fence-line communities across the world. Read Full Text

Merebank residents still sick after toxic leak, 13 January 2003
The MEC for Agriculture and Environment Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Narend Singh, will attend the scene of a toxic spill in the Stanvac Canal, Merebank, South Durban, this afternoon (Monday) at 5pm. Read Full Text

Merebank residents again overcome by gas, 9 January 2003
Dozens of residents of the Dinapur Road Flats in Merebank, South Durban, have spent the night in a terrible state after being overcome by gases last night from 5pm onwards. Read Full Text

Communities mobilise to fight Unicity's relocation plans, 11 December 2002
The South Durban communities of Wentworth, Merebank and Umlazi are holding a mass meeting tonight along with Concerned Citizens Forum communities from Chatsworth and Sydenham Heights to plan a campaign of rolling mass action against forced removal, rightsizing, evictions, relocation of industry into poor communities and privatization of housing. Read Full Text

South Durban Communities Begin Programme of Rolling Mass Action Against Mondi Incinerator, 20 November 2002
On Wednesday, 20 November at 11am, frustrated communities of the South Durban basin (Merebank, Bluff, Wentworth and Ispingo) will stand together in a protest against further air pollution and the use of outdated dirty technology by Biotrace Holdings (Pty) Limited at Mondi Paper Mill in Merebank, Durban. Read Full Text

Shell victims release book exposing international abuses, 12 November 2002
Two South Durban victims of Shell Oil environmental abuses in the South Africa, Bobby Peek and Desmond D’Sa will join activists from the United States in London to hand over the new book, "Riding the Dragon: Royal Dutch Shell & The Fossil Fire," to the Royal Dutch Shell International MD today. Read Full Text

Provincial Government invokes apartheid law to avoid releasing risks of new toxic chemical tanks, 4 November 2002
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) is disgusted that the KZN Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs has involved two apartheid laws to block communities from accessing information related to a major new hazardous installation. Read Full Text

Petronas toxic fumes continue into 8th day, 31 October 2002
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and groundWork received numerous calls from the community over the past few days about the continuing toxic fumes emanating from the damaged Engen crude oil tank. Read Full Text

Faulty fuel storage tank explodes killing a worker, 17 October 2002
The explosion of a fuel tank at Bresmen Factory, South Durban has resulted in the death of one worker and six others being burnt. Two workers are critically injured in Entabeni Hospital. Read Full Text

International NGO Community Tells Government: Hear the South Durban Communities, Scrap the Mondi Waste Burner, 11 October 2002
Public interest groups from around the world today urge the South African Government to cancel the authorization given to Mondi Paper for a R200 million incinerator in Merebank, South Durban. Read Full Text

South Durban communities unanimously condemn Mondi's proposed incinerator, 1 October 2002
The Austerville Civic Centre was packed to capacity last night with residents from several South Durban communities who unanimously rejected Mondi’s proposed incinerator. The communities were shocked when Mondi General Manager John Barton started talking about running the Comrades Marathon instead of answering scientific questions about pollution. Read Full Text

Global NGO Alliance Asks Mondi Paper to Abandon Incinerator Plan, 27 September 2002
An international NGO alliance today asked Mondi Paper to cancel its controversial R200 million incinerator project and shift to clean production to arrest the further degradation of South Durban environment. Read Full Text

South Durban communities slam government's decision to allow Mondi to burn coal, 18 September 2002
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance is outraged that government gave Mondi Paper the green light last night to switch from gas to coal. Read Full Text

Petrol Pipeline Leak -- Health and Safety Compromised, 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. Read Full Text

Worker Dies at Engen from Lethal Acid Exposure, 29 May 2001
Yesterday, two workers at the Engen refinery in South Durban became victims to lethal hydrofluoric acid. This devastating incident resulted in the death of one of the workers with the second worker still being in critical condition. Read Full Text

Children Poisoned Daily by Heavy Industry in South Durban, 5 October 2000
The Settler's Primary school located in a "Critical Impact Zone" surrounded by two petro-chemical refineries (Engen and Sapref), Mondi Paper Mill, Southern Sewage Works and also lying in proximity to the Navy/Mobeni and Jacobs Industrial Belts. Read Full Text

South Durban, the Cancer Valley, 18 September 2000
SDCEA notes with concern the latest reports on the link between air pollution and illness in the South Durban basin. In the latest Mercury report the association between air pollutants and cancers was highlighted. Read Full Text

Workers Hospitalised due to gas leak in Isipingo, June 26, 2000
On Wednesday, 21 June 2000, at 20:30 hrs more than 30 workers were hospitalised at the Kingsway Hospital. Read Full Text

Illovo Sugar Pollution Problems, 22 June 2000
Residents in the Merebank community located directly opposite the Illovo Sugar have been complaining repeatedly of serious air and noise pollution problems.Read Full Text

Chemical Incidents on the Bluff, 8 March 2000
The year 2000 started on a bad note for the residents of the Bluff when large scale toxic chemical emissions drifted over residential areas from the Island View Complex. Read Full Text