IFP: Communities are unfortunate casualties of Engen oil refinery explosion

The IFP has expressed criticism against government and business for the danger to communities living adjacent to the Engen Oil Refinery in Tara Road, South Durban, following this morning’s explosion at the refinery. KwaZulu-Natal IFP Spokesperson on Conservation and Environmental Affairs, Joshua Mazibuko, said:

“We were shocked to hear of this morning’s explosion at the Engen Oil Refinery in Tara Road, South Durban. Our thoughts immediately turned the workers within the refinery, and the surrounding communities who are direct or indirect casualties of the explosion.”

“Although we do not have details as of now, we are convinced of the negative repercussions for the adjacent communities. For instance, we saw one video that showed a building – which looked like a house – going up in flames. Whether that family are the only casualties, or if there are others, we do not yet know.”

“Firstly, the IFP deplores the actions of the apartheid government, which saw nothing wrong with placing communities in close proximity to such a dangerous industry. That was insensitivity of the worst order. Secondly, we are dismayed that 26 years into our democratic dispensation, these communities are still sitting ducks for such catastrophes; and they complain about the dangers they face almost daily.”

“Will government and business only take action once the whole community is wiped out – by either an explosion, or by the diseases caused by the dangerous fumes that they inhale almost daily?”

“Once again, we call on government to ensure that all laws and regulations meant to regulate such industries, and to protect communities, are implemented; and to monitor that such is indeed happening. Business too, must carry the blame for showing no urgency in ensuring that they adhere to required safety measures to protect both workers and adjacent communities.”

Contact:
M. Joshua Mazibuko; KZN MPL
KZN IFP Spokesperson: Conservation and Environmental Affairs
083 992 6135