South Africa, Durban – KZN MEC gives management at a Pinetown factory 14 days to compile a report detailing the cause of a fire breakout at its plant.
He asked that the report explains how Zeta Cosmetic factory management plans to clean up the area and outlines measures it will take to contain pollution of the environment.
At the time, KZN Emergency Medical Services (EMS) spokesperson Robert Mckenzie said paramedics treated 12 patients at the scene, who was taken to hospital. The fire was extinguished just after 6 pm.
Pillay said the department was assessing the environmental impact of the fire.
“Environmental management inspectors and other specialists from the department were dispatched to the site as soon as the fire was reported. Samples from the Alle River, where there was potential pollution as a result of the fire, have been taken for assessment and results are expected soon.”
He said Edtea officials have met and were collaborating with other stakeholders such as the Department of Labour and the eThekwini Fire Department to establish the cause of the fire.
Chemicals that were burnt during the blaze included propane, caustic soda, petroleum jelly, acetone and hydrogen peroxide.
DA’s spokesperson Dave Bryant, has called on the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, to urgently investigate the explosion as well as Friday’s explosion at the Engen Refinery in Wentworth that left at least seven people injured.
Bryant said the two explosions might have been a coincidence, but raised serious concerns about environmental safety and security and should be investigated.
“The explosion has caused severe damage to the surrounding community in the South Durban Basin and great distress to local residents. Many residents have been displaced and their homes have been damaged,” said Bryant.
He said problems at the refinery have been ongoing and it was essential Minister Creecy took urgent action now to address them.
“It is important to note that there are long-standing concerns relating to alleged pollution from the refinery and the negative impact on the health of residents has been observed. There is clear evidence that the relationship between the eThekwini Mayor and the community has broken down completely. Local NGOs are struggling to get any tangible cooperation from the local municipality and are desperate to have their voices heard.”