“Listening to the people” – A community environmental health gathering

19 February 2004 - groundWork and South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) are co-hosting a two-day Environmental Health Workshop on Saturday and Sunday 21-22 February 2004. The workshop serves, as the platform for people to voice the environmental health struggles facing communities around South Africa.

The workshop occurs on the eve of the 8th Environmental Health World Congress being held at the ICC in Durban from 23-27 February 2004. It is ironic that the people most impacted upon by environmental health issues are not given sufficient access to the World Congress. This would have been an opportune moment for South African communities to showcase to government and to the world our challenges and concerns on environmental health.

The programme (attached below) includes testimonies from communities exposed to industrial pollution, incineration and landfill sites from south Durban, Sasolburg, Secunda, Biopatong, Potchefstroom, Table View, and Richards Bay. A session has also been dedicated to academic testimonies and presentations, which views the scientific evidence that supports people’s experiences. These presentations will be by academics from Cook County Hospital (USA), CSIR, UCT Lung Institute, Durban Institute of Technology (DIT), Michigan University - Ann Arbor (USA), and University of Natal.

A protest has been organised on Monday 23 February 2004 outside the ICC to inform international and local participants that enough is enough and that no more shall community health become a secondary consideration over profits. Companies like Shell, Engen, Sasol, Foskor, Dow Chemicals and others must be held accountable for the deaths and illnesses they visit on communities in South African and worldwide.

For more information contact:

Bobby Peek: 082 464 1383, 033 342 5662 bobby@groundwork.org.za
Llewellyn Leonard: 082 353 5029

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance

Desmond D’Sa: 083 982 6939, 031 468 9069

Farida Khan: 084 700 9585



“Listening to the people” – A Community Environmental Health Gathering - Program Details

Saturday and Sunday, 21-22 February 2003
Final Programme


08:30 – 09:00 hrs

09:00 – 09:10 hrs
Desmond D’Sa, Chair of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA)

09:10 – 09:20 hrs
Workshop context and relevance
Bobby Peek, Director of groundWork

Session one
09:20 – 10:20 hrs
Community Testimonies Pollution from Petro-Chemical Facilities
Moderator: Ardiel Soeker, groundWork

Engen and Shell/BP (Sapref): South Durban
Steven van Wyk, SDCEA

Sasol Chemical Industries: Sasolburg
Caroline Ntaopane, Sasolburg Air Quality Monitoring Committee

Sasol Chemical Industries: Secunda
Octavia Nkosi, Highveld East Community Environmental Monitoring Association (Hecema)

Caltex Refinery: Table View
Andy Birkinshaw, Table View Residents’ Association

10:20 – 10:40 hrs

Session two:
10:40 – 11:25 hrs
Community Testimonies Industrial Pollution, Incineration, Landfill Sites
Moderator: Desmond D’Sa SDCEA

Foskor: Richards Bay
Edmond Skosana, Vuka Environment Dot Com

Iscor: Boipatong
Matshidiso Dlamini, Boipatong Environmental Working Group

Kynock and Sasol Agri: Potchefstroom
Mathekiso Phakedi, National Youth Consultative Forum

Session Three:
11:25 – 12:10
Medical Waste and Incineration and Landfill Sites
Moderator: Llewellyn Leonard

Edendale Hospital – Medical Waste Management
Dinky Halimana, Edendale Hospital

Clare Estate Bisasar Landfill Site
Sajida Khan

12:10 – 12:30 hrs
Community Voices from the Floor
Karen Read, SDCEA

12:30 – 13:30 hrs

Session four:
13:30 – 14:50 hrs
Paper presentations
Moderator: Bobby Peek

A Study Of Allergic Diseases And The Urban Environment In The Northern Communities Of Cape Town
Prof Neil White, Prof. Neil White, Lung Institute, University of Cape Town

Petrochemical Production and Community Health
Prof Peter Orris, University of Illinois, USA.

Vulnerability of South African Communities to Air Pollution
Mamopeli Matooane, CSIR, South Africa

14:50 – 15:10 hrs

15:10 – 16:00 hrs
Challenges in Environmental Management

Environmental Conflict Resolution Essential for Successful Environmental Impact Assessments in south Durban
Michael van der Merwe, Durban Institute for Technology (DIT)

Local Government Managing Challenging Industry
Steen Fogde, Danmarks Naturfredninsforening

16:00 – 16:45 hrs
The South Durban Basin Study: A Response to Environmental Health challenges
Prof Stuart Batterman, Ann Arbor, Michigan University
Dr Rajen Naidoo, Occupational Health Centre, KZN University
Ms Joy Kistnasamy, DIT
Michael van der Merwe, DIT

16:45 – 17:15 hrs

Day Two, Sunday, 22 February 2004

09:00 – 10:30 hrs
Community health assessment strategies
Peter Orris

10:30 – 11:00 hrs

11:00 – 12:20 hrs
Developing of resolutions to Deliver to 8th World Congress on Environmental Health
Bobby Peek

12:20 – 12:30 hrs
Llewellyn Leonard, groundWork