Clean-up underway after big Durban oil spill

10 November 2016 - 18:20 By Suthentira Govender

A major clean-up operation is underway in Durban after about 20 000 litres of crude oil spilled into the Amanzimnyama River outside the city on Thursday morning.

It is unclear at this stage what caused the spillage into the river which flows into the Durban harbour‚ prompting concern from environmentalists.

The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and the Bluff Alliance said they were worried about the impact of the river's marine life.

Bluff Alliance spokesman Ivor Aylward said an environmental management company had been dispatched to the spill site to contain the situation.

KZN Subsistence Fishers Forum spokesman and environmental activist Desmond D’Sa said‚ "We cannot sit back while all marine life is destroyed".

Transnet National Ports Authority said it had dispatched an emergency response team for the "containment and clean-up operation after a heavy fuel oil spill".

Transnet said in a statement that port operations had not been disrupted and that eThekwini municipal health officials were investigating the source of spill.

The emergency response team have deployed pollution control booms along the length of Amanzimnyama canal and is using "super suckers" to extract oil from the Edwin Swales weir.

Moshe Motlohi‚ Port Manager for the Port of Durban‚ said‚ "The clean-up team is working as fast as it can and operations will continue until the clean-up is complete to ensure minimum impact to the environment".

- TMG Digital/The Times