Thousands of litres of oil spills into Amanzimnyama River near Durban
A major clean-up operation is under way in Durban after about 20,000l of crude oil spilled into the Amanzimnyama River outside the city.
It was unclear what caused the spillage into the river, which flows into Durban harbour‚ prompting concern from environmentalists.
On Thursday, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and the Bluff Alliance said they were worried about the effect on the river’s marine life.
Bluff Alliance spokesperson Ivor Aylward said an environmental management company had been dispatched to the spill site to contain the situation.
KwaZulu-Natal Subsistence Fishers Forum spokesperson and environmental activist Desmond D’Sa said:"We cannot sit back while all marine life is destroyed."
Transnet National Ports Authority said it had dispatched an emergency response team for the "containment and clean-up operation after a heavy fuel oil spill".
Transnet said in a statement that port operations had not been disrupted and that eThekwini municipal health officials were investigating the source of spill.
The emergency response team had deployed pollution control booms along the length of Amanzimnyama canal and was using "super suckers" to extract oil from the Edwin Swales weir.
Moshe Motlohi‚ port manager for the Port of Durban‚ said: "The clean-up team is working as fast as it can and operations will continue until the clean-up is complete, to ensure minimum impact to the environment."