The Lucky Star factory, a subsidiary of the Oceana Group, emits a smell of rotting fish and has had Hout Bay residents up in arms for years with no resolution in sight. Photo: David Ritchie
It will be business as usual at the “smelly” fishmeal factory in Hout Bay as the City dismissed an appeal over decision to renew the factory’s atmospheric emissions licence (AEL).

Fresh Air for Hout Bay (FAHB), which represents some residents, had appealed a decision to grant Lucky Star Fishmeal Factory the licence, arguing it had a negative impact on life.

The FAHB appeal focused on two issues: that the public participation process was not appropriate and lacked procedural fairness; and the City failed to consider the objections through the public participation process before coming to a decision.

“We argued that the City’s decision to renew the AEL was irrational, in that the decision was not rationally connected to the information before it, including the numerous objections submitted; the City failed to substantively consider, and therefore apply its mind, to relevant information and the objections raised; and the City failed to give reasons for not considering certain factors in the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act,” FAHB said.

The City recently found there to be no merit on the grounds of the appeal, and dismissed it. Mayco member for safety and security, and social services JP Smith, said the City held Oceana Group to account for the pollution it generated.

“Furthermore, where the City has identified deficiencies in the regulations the mayor has written to the national Minister of Environmental Affairs requesting the necessary amendments,” Smith said.

Hout Bay Civic Association secretary Roscoe Jacobs said they welcomed the appeals finding, as it meant nearly 100 people from Hangberg would get to keep their jobs.