The South Durban Communities Environmental Allaince ( SDCEA) and other NGO's and community organisations took to the central streets of Durban on Saturday to protest the Port Expansion Project in favour of neo liberal economic policies that will benefit these communities but rather governments and corporations invested in this project.A multitude of issues proposed development, such as increased trucking on residential roads and national roads, and the inevitability of increased truck-related deaths;conversion of the Clairwood Racecourse, the ‘green lung’ of south Durban, into a logistics park and container depot;denial of fisherfolk access to the beachfront and various piers, and ultimately their livelihood;displacement of farmers and farmworkers currently occupying land next to the former Durban airport; and increased health related impacts due to the expansion of the petro-chemical industrial hub and the contribution of the entire project to climate change.PHOTO:RAJESH JANTILAL

Durban - Eight hundred people from South Durban who object to Transnet’s proposed dig-out port and the city’s back-of-port plan, took to the streets at the weekend.

Members of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), NGOs and other organisations, took part in the peaceful march which ended at the city hall. They handed over a memorandum to an official from the mayor’s office and a representative from Transnet.

They say there are a “multitude of issues” connected to the proposed development, said Desmond D’Sa, co-ordinator of SDCEA, last night. He added that 90 percent of people in south Durban were jobless and they did not believe that the plan would bring the number of jobs claimed by Transnet, “and the ones that are there will be wiped out completely”.

Some of their worries include: denial of fishermen access to the beachfront and various piers “and ultimately their livelihood”; the displacement of farmers and their workers occupying land next to the former Durban airport; and increased trucking “and the inevitability of increased, truck-related deaths”.

D’Sa said the protesters expected to receive a response from the city and Transnet within two weeks.

If there was no response, the campaign would be stepped up to include national and international civil society.

D’Sa is going overseas this month to raise awareness and gather support, he said.

* Members of the Metal Industry Casual Workers, who were laid off last week – and their supporters – were also due to hand over a memorandum to Transnet early tMonday morning calling for their jobs back.

Daily News