Polluters may soon have to pay up

By Veven Bisetty

Tighter legislation governing pollution control is on the cards and is likely to target mainly oil refineries.

When implemented in about 18 months, a "pollution payer policy" could force offenders to pay for environmental damage, the national deputy minister for environment and tourism, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, said on Sunday.

Mabudafhasi met the relevant stakeholders in the oil industry, Sapref, and concerned residents on a "fact-finding mission" in the Wentworth area in Durban on Friday.

One concern was that interactive partnerships did not exist between the Shell and BP-owned Sapref refinery and the community to resolve pollution problems in the area.

The new concerns follow recent disclosures by Sapref that it under-reported its pollution levels by as much as 40 percent.

Mabudafhasi said Sapref had undertaken to foster closer relationships with the community and to address pollution in the area.

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