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South Durban communities are causing a stink over a persistent “cat urine” smell that has been plaguing the community for the past two years.
On Tuesday night the South Durban Communities of Environmental Alliance hosted an air quality and odour meeting at the St Barnabas Anglican Church where the main focus was the “cat urine” smell which has been hounding the Bluff, Clairwood and Austerville communities.
Environmentalist Desmond D’sa said they were tired of complaining about the issue.
“It has been two years and city health has given us no answers or a way forward. What is upsetting is that they know where the source of the smell is coming from, but don’t want to follow it up,” he said.
D’sa said he suspected a cover up about the company that was believed to be the main source of their problems.
“If we don’t get answers within the next few days, we will have to look at other ways of getting the city’s health department to take our complaint seriously, even if it means changing the gates and locks of the company we suspect,” he warned.
Bruce Dale of eThekwini’s Health Department admitted he had heard of the “cat urine” smell towards the end of 2010. Dale said canister samples that were previously taken had not indicated anything out of the ordinary, but said they had identified some companies they felt were responsible for the smell.
However, he said they were looking at having an odour panel to ensure that uniform information had been given to them. “This problem is a difficult one to sample,” he said.
Bluff activist Brenda Pratt said the smell was one of the most disgusting she had ever experienced. “It hooks to the back of your throat and you instantly want to vomit. People are getting sick with head-aches, bleeding noses, burning eyes and noses. What we want to know is what the city is doing about it,” she said.
And it had been getting worse over recent months, she said.
“They say it could come from a multitude of chemicals, but what we want the city to find out is exactly what chemicals these are,” she said. - Daily News