Coast KZN

25 Oct 2021

MEC gives update on Cornubia chemical spill

(Northglen News) Picture: EDTEA. KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay, said the idea of the multi-stakeholder forum was borne out of the recognition that the public has a right to be informed of matters that affect the environment, their health and wellbeing..

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay has launched the multi-stakeholder forum into the United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) chemical spill in Cornubia.

The UPL warehouse in Cornubia was set on fire during the KZN unrest in July this year that led to an environmental disaster and the closure of beaches north of the Umgeni River. In what is a first step towards the full establishment of the forum, a nine-member interim steering committee was established and announced at a meeting held with stakeholders in uMhlanga on Saturday.

The members of the steering committee are: Kesha Naidoo, Rico Europedo, Desmond D’Sa, Bongani Mthembu, Allimuthu Perumal, Kirsten Youens, Kwanele Msizazwe and Kamini Krishna and Durban North resident, Francine Hattingh. The convener of the committee is Jeremy Ridl.

“We are very mindful that a lot of the work is highly technical as one has to look at the chemical combinations that flowed into the Ohlanga River, as well as the samples taken and analysed. The current report on the beach closures has been subject to review by an international expert. That final report is due this week. We hope it will inform the eThekwini Municipality’s final decision on the reopening of some of the beaches, at the very least. The report will be made available online through a repository, where reports and other relevant documents are posted to ensure easy access to all interested and affected parties,” he said.

The repository can be viewed at It has been up and running for more than a week.