Asanda Matlhare
Intern Journalist
4 minute read
4 Oct 2021
6:00 am

UPL chemical spill: Entire ecosystem damaged, may take years to recover

Asanda Matlhare

The UPL warehouse was one of the many buildings that were damaged during the riots in July.

A member of a spill cleaning crew removes dead fish from the river in the uMhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve in Durban on July 18, 2021. (Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP)

July’s pandemonium not only resulted in lootings, but the burning of chemical giant UPL’s facility which means the environmental situation remains in an “emergency state”. Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy yesterday released the Joint Preliminary Investigation into the Compliance Profile of the United Phosphorous Limited (UPL) South Africa (Pty) Limited in Cornubia, north of Durban. Creecy said the report was a result of an investigation by a multi-disciplinary team into the regulatory environment in which the UPL warehouse was required to operate, and the environmental impact of the chemical spill and fire incident which caused a serious...