DA calls for in-depth provincial probe into KZN Dolphin Coast air conundrum

Issued by Heinz de Boer, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on EDTEA
11 Aug 2022 in Press Statements

The DA has written to senior KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) environmental inspectors demanding a joint investigation into the ongoing air quality and pollution conundrum that continues to plague seaside destinations along the province’s North Coast.

Ballito and Salt Rock residents, in particular, have been hard-hit over the past three years with unexplained burning eyes, chemical smells and general air pollution plaguing the region. This has been coupled with frequent clouds of acrid smoke from fires wafting over residential regions.

While an earlier DA-led oversight inspection has revealed several allegedly illegal dumpsites in the region, the constant loss of amenity and associated health problems can no longer be tolerated.

Only a public stakeholder meeting with the affected communities will reveal the true impact the pollution has had on residents’ lives. This must be coupled with a meaningful and sustained provincial probe into the source of the pollution.

In this regard, KZN Conservation and Environmental Affairs portfolio committee Chairperson, Sthembiso Mshengu, has been asked to intervene as the Illembe District seems unable or unwilling to safeguard the health of its own residents.

An investigation by DA Salt Rock Councillor Privi Makhan has revealed the district has little to no air quality monitoring capability. Air quality monitoring stations, like so many others across the province, are inaccurate or simply don’t work.

The health of citizens is enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa and can no longer be ignored by the ANC government. The DA will not allow the matter to be glossed over and will insist that an in-depth investigation and enforcement is prioritised.