The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance attended two public meetings on the 17th and 18th of May.
On the 17th a public meeting was held at the Austerville Civic Centre. It was hosted by the consulting firm GIBB and the developer Hitachi. This meeting was to address the public on a proposed desalination plant being built in the Bluff community. The meeting was well attended by members of the community as well as subsistence fisherfolk who are concerned by the desalination plant disrupting their fishing areas by not allowing them to fish or by the facility disrupting fish stocks through its desalination processes. Residents do have a cause for concern because if this plant is approved and constructed, the quality of life would be affected by the residents in the community. The plant emits loud noise throughout the day, almost every day of the week. The fisherfolk have cause for concern as the plant dumps toxic waste in the ocean in the form of brine. This will disrupt fish stocks, meaning a smaller catch for fishermen.
On the 18th of May a public meeting was held at the Royal Natal Yacht Club. It was hosted by Nemai Consultants and Transnet, who are the developers for the project. The purpose of the meeting was to obtain a license to mine sand on the ocean floor. This process is called sandwinning or offshore dredging. This was a public meeting, however, there was no public notice provided by Nemai and Transnet. Resulting in little to no members of the public in attendance, meaning they are unaware of what Transnet is proposing to do. Sandwinning will have a devastating effect on the environment and fisherfolk who depend on the ocean. The dredging process will destroy marine life in the areas they mine and the waste the dredging ships dump will pollute our ocean, killing various species of seaweed, sea plants, fish and food.
For more information contact:
Chadley Joseph (SDCEA Project Officer)
Phone: 031 461 1991