Court stops protests

A second South Durban Basin company has gone to the high court to prevent protests by residents demanding jobs in a new petrochemical storage facility on their doorstep.

Last week, Vopak Terminal Durban copied petrochemicals giant Engen in its decision to interdict the South Durban Basin Community Development Trust.

Vopak was granted an interim order to stop any further marches, protests or blockades. Vopak is building a R1-billion, 10-tank facility for petrol products at Transnet’s Island View terminal.The trust said it would contest the order in October.

Vopak projects director Daniel van Niekerk accused the trust of “threatening and intimidating” companies in the area for “some time”. Hesaid Vopakdrew 70% of its workforce from within a 50km radius,the company would lose R3.7-million a day if the protests stopped workand the facility was a national key point dealing with very dangerous products.

Trust liaison officer Frank Alexander said residents were dissatisfied with the hiring patterns of Vopak and other multinationals in the area.“The South Durban Basin communities are surrounded by billions of dollars in industries but are the most underdeveloped in the city.”

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Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

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