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Environmental Affairs hosts community roadshow on the strategy to address air pollution in dense low-income communities

23 November 2016

 

The Department of Environmental Affairs will host community engagement roadshow as part of the process to finalise the Strategy for Addressing Air Pollution in Dense Low-Income Communities of South Africa, in Emalahleni on Friday 25 November 2016.

Earlier this year, Cabinet approved the draft strategy which seeks to provide a dedicated, focused approach to deal with high levels of pollution in some of the densely populated low-income communities.  This will support the suite of existing instruments to reduce air pollution in the country, which include emissions standards set in terms of the Air Quality Act to control industrial emissions, alternative energy strategies implemented by Department of Energy, air quality officers and various industries.

Past and present air quality monitoring data has shown that air quality in various South African communities is not in compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards. For most of these areas, air quality standards are usually exceeded during winter months as more people start burning fossil fuels to warm their homes.

The Emalahleni area has been identified as one of the hot spot areas with highly polluted air due to, amongst others, the burning of fossil fuels (dirty fuels), in particular coal, wood and paraffin for cooking and heating in the homes. These consequently affect the quality of air at the breathing zone and result in adverse health impacts for both adults and children. Those with pre-existing respiratory disorders such as asthma and cancer are worst affected.

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the workshop as per the details below:

Date:  25 November 2016

Time: 10H00

Venue: Emalahleni Civic Theatre

To RSVP, contact

Ernest Mulibana
Cell:  082 263 7372

For media queries, contact

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871