Cape Town - Irate residents of Charleston Hill, Paarl, are fearing for their health due to the proximity of a nearby fertiliser blending plant.
They accused the municipality of “a dereliction of duty of care” for not having a proper environmental impact assessment on the plant.
Residents of the Drakenstein municipality formed themselves into the Charleston Hill Action Group (CHAG) and have since 2017 been lobbying the municipality, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Yara Fertilizers – the company behind the plant – over the company’s expansion plans and perceived air pollution.
In a letter to the department, CHAG chairperson Lindsay van der Berg said: “Until an environmental impact assessment is conducted on the impact of the Yara facility, we believe that allowing it to operate is a serious breach of community safety and infringes on the human rights of the people of Paarl to live in an environment which is not a threat to their health and well-being.”
On Thursday last week, CHAG convened a community meeting at which Van der Berg said: “Drakenstein municipality has not demonstrated the required accountability and duty of care to the Paarl community by allowing Yara to continue their operations.”