Hillcrest stench blame game drags on

A group of concerned residents, sponsored by Liquid Touch Promotions, were stationed on Old Main Road between Winston Park and Ashley Drive recently, distributing information flyers and raising awareness. about the awful stench in the Upper Highway area. PHOTO: Submitted.
A group of concerned residents, sponsored by Liquid Touch Promotions, were stationed on Old Main Road between Winston Park and Ashley Drive recently, distributing information flyers and raising awareness. about the awful stench in the Upper Highway area. PHOTO: Submitted.

RESIDENTS in the upper Highway area are fuming about the recent analysis released by PwC who was commissioned by EnviroServ. Residents claim the company is side-stepping the issue of the horrendous, toxicating smell in the area.

The analysis claims that the majority of the complaints received in the area are concentrated around the Transnet pipeline and pump station and another possible source could be the the industrial complex situated next to the N3 highway.

 

Statement released

According to Lauren Johnson, one of the concerned and affected residents in the area, the Upper Highway Air received the information from the DEA which was commissioned by EnviroServ to Price Waterhouse Coopers. From May to December 2016, they received 15 792 complaints via the Upper Highway Air website.

“EnviroServ appear to be putting the blame on the Transnet Pipeline and Pump Station, Denny Mushrooms, Giba Industrial Complex and the sewerage works in Shongweni Road. Sanjay Naraindass from the eThekwini Department of Health, told us that they have cleared these ‘possible sources’.

“We have requested these reports and are awaiting feedback. We encourage residents affected to visit the EnviroServ Shongweni landfill so that they are able to determine that the odour they are experiencing is the same as experienced at the EnviroServ Shongweni landfill and to report on the website www.upperhighwayair.org,” said Johnson.

 

Transnet Pipelines responds

Meanwhile, Saret Knoetze, manager, public relations, communications and marketer at Transnet Pipelines released a statement which said her company was working with the Department of Health and they confirmed that Transnet Pipelines did not in any way contribute to any of the odours in the area.

“Our pipeline is buried underground and is a closed system – there are no odours/vapour that could “escape” – not even when it goes through the pump-station, We have had meetings with Enviroserv and we have shown them our operations but they have not amended their opinion. Our 3800km of pipelines have been in operation for many years, traversing many properties and we have not had complaints from any other areas,” said Knoetze.

With regards to the last two spill incidents – the one in Hillcrest in 2014 and the one in Sparrow Lane, she said: “we did air monitoring at both sites and at no stage was there any ‘red flags’.”

 

EnviroServ stands firm

EnviroServ Group CEO, Dean Thompson said EnviroServ had commissioned an independent consultant to do a statistical analysis of the complaints received so that they could better understand the underlying trends.

“The consultant in question, PwC, is one of the most reputable firms of their kind in South Africa and we believe the community should appreciate their expert opinion as a way of getting to the bottom of this issue, rather than dismissing the information out of hand. EnviroServ has not compiled the report ourselves and does not influence its content. The information received to date confirms that there are several odour generators in the area,” said Thompson.

 

Complaints

Warren Arnold Hill wrote: “How stupid do they think we are? Transnet pipeline carries fuel which has a totally different odour to the stench that we experience. Drive past Enviroserv’s landfill and it can easily be confirmed that is where it is coming from.”

Leigh Morum wrote: “What a dismal example of another futile attempt to deflect the blame. Enviroserv you are pitiful. This sends a loud and clear message to all – that Enviroserv do not accept any liability – they continue to deny any negligence or gross incompetence, continue to deflect the blame onto others and do not give a damn about the health and wellbeing of the surrounding communities. This reminds me of countless examples of war when the losers who, despite being about to be crushed by the victors, fight on in denial until the very bitter end. Glorious shall be the day for us all when we see this evil company defeated.”

Diane Sharon Van Wyk wrote: “These guys are the ones suffering from psychosomatic delusions. Do they think we are a bunch of dumb idiots. Makes me beyond angry whilst I cough my lungs out and sit here with my windows and doors shut because I’m mentally ill and are imagining things. We have to win this thing and bring the lying disgusting company to its knees #enviroservmustfall”

Matthew Joseph Laing wrote: “Smoke and mirrors. I can see the “spill” site from my house. The smell does not come from there. You can follow it to the EnviroServ site.”

 

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  AUTHOR
Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay
Journalist

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