A fire broke out at KZN Resins, a chemical factory in Jacobs. Picture: Supplied.
A fire broke out at KZN Resins, a chemical factory in Jacobs. Picture: Supplied.

Durban environmental justice organisation calls for independent probe after another chemical factory fire

By Karen Singh Time of article published Aug 25, 2021

Share this article:

DURBAN – The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) has called for an independent investigation into the regular occurrence of fires in Durban.

This follows a fire that broke out at KZN Resins, a chemical factory in Jacobs, this morning.

SDCEA coordinator Desmond D’Sa said the fire, which occurred after midnight, was still burning at 1pm today.

“Over the past decade communities of South Durban have had to endure hundreds of explosions and fires, and along with them, we have had to breathe toxic chemicals into our lungs and bodies,” said D’sa.

D’sa further said that in a recent incident, United Phosphorous Limited (UPL), which housed a lot of chemicals, in the north of Durban was torched during the unrest in July.

“The chemical disaster resulted in many people’s health being affected, and tons of marine life killed, and our biodiversity severely impacted upon,” he said.

Citing other examples, he said residents also had had to endure the chemical incident that took place on December 4, 2020, when the Engen Refinery exploded, followed four days later by another chemical fire at a company on Otto Volek Road in New Germany, Pinetown.

D’sa raised concerns that these incidents were happening regularly, with communities bearing the public health impacts.

“It is for these reasons that we call for an independent investigation with a retired judge or experts chosen by the community, and paid for by government and the polluters, to investigate the regular occurrence of explosions and fires in Durban.

“The terms of reference should include, but not be limited to, understanding the regular causes of these disasters, including the lack of maintenance of infrastructure, and an inadequate emergency response, fire and safety disaster plan,” he said.

A fire broke out at KZN Resins, a chemical factory in Jacobs. Picture: Supplied.
Fire at KZN Resins, a chemical factory in Jacobs. Picture: Supplied.
A fire broke out at KZN Resins, a chemical factory in Jacobs. Picture: Supplied.

THE MERCURY

Share this article: