Durban - eThekwini Municipality is set to enter into an agreement with a local primary school to conduct Ambient Air Quality Monitoring. According to a report tabled in council this week, city manager, Sipho Nzuza has been granted authority to enter into a three-year memorandum of agreement with Settlers Primary School, which is currently being used as an ambient monitoring station to monitor ambient air quality in the refinery corridor.

“The report noted that the school was selected because of its location to successfully monitor prevailing winds in all directions with the school being a secure site to house the assets required to monitor the air,” said city acting communications head, Mandla Nsele.

He said the school will be reimbursed for electricity costs incurred to operate the ambient monitoring station.

Nsele said the report also noted the approval of the Air Quality Management Plan of eThekwini Municipality together with the request from the Health Unit for additional funding for the implementation process to comply with the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act.

“The report highlighted that the importance of air quality management within the city of eThekwini is being acknowledged hence the significance of prioritising the matter to combat, amongst others things, the illegal dumping which has been a thorny issue. Increasing the staff compliment is regarded as a key to effectively fulfil this function thus the recommendation to employ additional health environmental practitioners,” he said.

The report recommended that the eThekwini Municipality Air Quality Management Plan be approved and incorporated into the Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan with the Health Unit serving as an implementing agent.

The report also noted that adequate capital and operational funding of R3.5 million be granted to the Health Unit to achieve the Municipality’s legislated mandate in terms of Air Quality Management.

The Mercury