By Latoya Newman
Frustrated residents of the South Durban basin on Wednesday protested outside the Mondi paper mill plant against further air pollution and the use of what they claim to be outdated "dirty" technology at the site.
Desmond D'Sa of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) said the protest was organised in support of their recent appeal against the authorisation given to the company to construct a multi-fuel fluidised bed combuster at the paper mill.
The SDCEA said the KwaZulu-Natal department of agriculture and environmental affairs gave the construction of the "incinerator" the go-ahead without a proper environmental impact assessment being done.
D'Sa said that the approval did not take into account health concerns, nor was it in line with conventions like the World Summit on Sustainable Development or South Africa's Kyoto Protocol, which deals with global warming.
Mondi said that the technology was in fact a multi-fuel boiler that would be able to burn all biomass generated during the papermaking process and that waste disposal to landfill would be reduced by almost 75 percent.
The company gave an assurance that the emissions would not exceed the values laid down in the latest European legislation, and that limestone injection would also be used to control the emissions.
Mondi said the boiler would also be fitted with a filter to reduce particle emissions.
The memorandum was received by John Ratcliff, Operations Services Manager for the company. It included the community's opposition to the technology as well as their condemnation of Mondi's failure to provide an analysis of pollution emitted by the boiler.