South Durban Community Environmental Alliance Press Release

A Shell Pipeline Damage and Leak on Tara Road, Wentworth

02 February 2007 - At 08h30 today, frantic residents of Wentworth and Merebank called the SDCEA offices concerned, after witnessing this huge plume of petrol shooting into the atmosphere. They jammed the SDCEA telephone lines informing us of what is going on and urging us to rush to the scene.

Mothers were worried about the children on the Fenceline of the Engen Refinery and the pipelines that run adjacent to the residential area.

The pipeline that was gushing liquid into the atmosphere and spraying everyone was a petrol line.

As per SAPREF’s Communications Manager, Margaret Rowe’s request for SDCEA & groundWork to formally address an urgent demand to Shell.

It is unacceptable that Shell is replacing their pipelines while operating their old pipelines which are in the same vicinity. Considering the fact that this is a major hazardous installation, we demand that the flow of product through these pipelines be halted immediately and all work on the replacement of the pipeline must stop until the eThekwini Municipality, Shell, SDCEA and groundWork have met to discuss the replacement process and to agree upon protocols for the replacement of the pipelines in south Durban.

We would appreciate a response by the closure of work today.

For further comment call: Desmond D’Sa 0839826939