Team probes pipeline theft which led to crude oil spill


KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has assigned a team of environmentalists to work with Transnet after a pipeline theft incident resulted in the spillage of crude oil in the Bellair Area in Durban.

“As the department, we wish to indicate that at this stage, we are working with all role players to implement spill containment measures to prevent damage to the environment,” Dube-Ncube said on Tuesday.

The MEC has undertaken to visit Umbilo River and all other affected areas in Bellair to assess the damage to the environment.

“I will ensure that all spheres of government work in an integrated manner in order to strengthen measures undertaken by Transnet as part of cleaning and rehabilitating the source of the spillage and the harbour.

“Critically, we are calling upon communities to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that those who are responsible for vandalising Transnet pipelines are brought to book,” the MEC said.

Transnet has recorded over 80 incidents of fuel theft and incidents of attempted theft. They have also recorded cases of tampering with pipeline infrastructure with the intention to steal fuel.

“As it has been pointed out in various platforms, Transnet operates and maintains a network of 3 800 km of high-pressure petroleum and gas pipelines from Durban to Gauteng across five provinces.

“We have a responsibility as the people of this province to ensure that we protect this valuable infrastructure, which is critical for our economy,” Dube-Ncube said.