Court stops protests

Mail & Guardian - - News - Paddy Harper

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”. He said Vopak drew 70% of its work­force from within a 50km ra­dius, the com­pany would lose R3.7-mil­lion a day if the protests stopped work and 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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