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A major clean-up is underway at the Port of Durban to remove the large volume of waste and vegetation from the port following the recent heavy rains and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. 

The adverse weather caused the usual deluge of plastic and other debris to flow into the port. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent heavy rains and flooding. We would also like to appeal to the public to please help curb plastic pollution as this causes huge problems when the debris flows into the harbour,” said Nokuzola Nkowane, Acting Durban Port Manager.

According to Nkowane, the port’s pollution control teams are on site tackling the debris within port waters, aided by clean-up teams from SpillTech, Drizit and ZMK Enterprises. All Transnet Operating Divisions are carrying out assessments to establish the full extent of damage caused by the storm.

“The combined catchment area of the rivers, canals and storm-water drainage systems that drain into the port is over 200 km2 in size. The unfortunate reality is the port waters are on the receiving end of the large volume of litter, effluent and sewage that is discharged into the storm-water reticulation system within the catchment,” said Nkowane.

“We must all take responsibility for the well-being of the ocean and coastal environment, and as TNPA we want to help create awareness and promote sustainable practices for the benefit of present and future generations.”

The Transnet National Ports Authority has been engaging with eThekwini Municipality regarding the interventions required to address the ingress of waste and effluent into the port from the municipal stormwater network which drains a significant portion of the Durban metropolitan area.

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