United Phosphorus Limited did not have the environmental authorisation to operate its Cornubia chemical factory near Durban according to the report released by Minister Barbara Creecy, following an environmental disaster investigation.
The factory, which stores various types of chemicals, was targeted during the July unrest.
Some beaches in parts of Durban were closed due to the chemical spill.
Desmond D’Sa from South Durban Community Environmental Alliance said, “what is shocking for us, as the community involved in this, is that the national ministry led by the minister, yesterday (Sunday), and the provincial ministry led by the MEC of environment, both of them alluded to that they did not know what was going on.”
“How is that happening in South Africa where the government has access to the ports of control where these chemicals are being brought in? How is it that our government doesn’t know what’s going on?” he said.