Chemicals company vows to clean up hazardous waste after KZN factory fire

12 November 2019 - 06:02 By Matthew Savides
The burnt-out ruins of a warehouse in Cato Ridge that was used to store toxic mercury waste.
The burnt-out ruins of a warehouse in Cato Ridge that was used to store toxic mercury waste.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

International company Thor Chemicals has vowed to foot the bill for cleaning up hazardous waste in Cato Ridge, west of Durban.

In a statement issued on Monday, environment, forestry and fisheries minister Barbara Creecy said Thor had provided the department with a final commitment to remove and dispose of the waste "at their own cost".

A fire in August resulted in about 30% of the waste stockpile being burnt, potentially causing toxic air pollution.

Creecy said a team of specialists had been employed to assess the overall damage caused by the fire. Tests were being done regarding air emissions and water quality.

"The situation at the site is contained and the final specialist reports will be released soon," she said.

"On the basis of the preliminary results, it appears that the impact of the fire was limited. However, this remains subject to final verification by a team of interdepartmental specialists."

Creecy added that SAPS had yet to release their investigation into an arson charge.


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