MEC PILLAY LAUNCHES MULTI-STAKEHOLDER FORUM IN RELATION TO UPL CHEMICAL SPILL

The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Ravi Pillay, has launched the multi-stakeholder forum into the UPL chemical spill.

In what is a first step towards the full establishment of the forum, a nine-member interim steering committee, was established and announced at a meeting held with stakeholders in uMhlanga yesterday.

The interim steering committee will be responsible for finalizing the terms of reference for the multi-stakeholder forum and will, within 30 days, convene a meeting of all stakeholders to nominate twenty people. From those twenty people, the MEC for EDTEA will appoint a committee of not more than 15 members.

The Committee appointed by the MEC will hold office for two years and will be responsible for coordinating and managing the multi-stakeholder forum. Members of the steering committee announced this morning are: Kesha Naidoo, Rico Europedo, Francine Hattingh, Desmond D’Sa, Bongani Mthembu, Allimuthu Perumal, Kirsten Youens, Kwanele Msizazwe and Kamini Krishna. The convener of the committee is Jeremy Ridl.

The multi-stakeholder forum will be inclusive and representative of all stakeholders and it is envisaged that it will:

  • act as a conduit for the dissemination of information to communities affected by this incident;
  • create an environment for interested and affected parties to engage meaningfully with each other, the authorities and UPL South Africa;
  • make coordinated input into all relevant processes, studies and investigations being undertaken on all aspects of the pollution incident;

The establishment of this multi-stakeholder forum is in fulfillment of the government’s commitment to transparency on the UPL chemical spill incident and other related matters.

“The idea of the multi-stakeholder forum was borne out of the recognition that the public has a right to be informed of matters that affect the environment, their health or wellbeing and that as the government we have an obligation to disclose information that is in the public interest.” MEC Pillay said.

Meanwhile a repository where reports and other relevant documents are posted to ensure easy access to all interested and affected parties has been established. The website (www.cornubiaenviroinfo.co.za) has been up and running for more than a week now.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIROMENTAL AFFAIRS IN KWAZULU-NATAL
For enquiries contact Bheki Mbanjwa 060 968 2417