Residents living near the Engen refinery which exploded in Durban last week have demanded that the oil manufacturer compensate families affected by the blast, citing a long history of leaks and explosions at the plant.
Hundreds of residents from Wentworth and Merebank protested at the refinery in Tara Road south of Durban today to demand that all residents and workers “who lost everything” be adequately compensated, according to reports.
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance air quality and officer Bongani Mthembu spoke to TimesLIVE, saying Engen had a history of leaks and explosions which affected the surrounding communities and “enough is enough”.
“We want Engen refinery’s senior leadership to make themselves accountable for the damage caused by the explosion on December 4, and many other incidents that have happened in the plant before,” Mthembu told TimesLIVE.
He said several residents lost their homes and seven people were treated for smoke inhalation after the explosion on Friday.
Mthembu continued: “Engen has put them up in a B&B for just five days. That on its own is a problem. They have lost everything. What happens after five days?”
The residents’ demands include a full independent review of Engen’s operations and the effects on the health and well-being of the surrounding communities.
Engen managing director and chairperson, Yusa Hassan, said there was not yet enough information to explain the cause of the blast.