Community takes on big polluters [So. Africa]
Author: UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), Published on: 26 September 2008
After years of calling on the owners of South Africa's oil refineries in Durban to upgrade their facilities to reduce pollution, local residents...have decided to take their case to the courts to secure a legal remedy. For more than a decade concerned citizens and environmental groups have complained that Durban's two refineries spew out dangerous noxious chemicals, despite pleas to clean up their act...The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) chairperson, Desmond D'sa, [said] they were in the process of preparing a class action lawsuit against the refinery owners - Engen (part of Petronas), and Shell and British Petroleum (BP) - in a bid to make the companies accountable...Engen and Shell-BP say they have been cleaning up their act. According to Engen, over the past decade R60-million...a year has been spent on environmental improvements...which has led to a 60 percent cut in emissions.