Transport dept. to fund Seli 1 removal

The wreck of the Seli 1 oil tanker. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.
One of 56 penguins housed at Sancobb after the September 2012 Seli 1 oil leak being washed on 5 September 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The shipwrecked Seli 1 will no longer be an eyesore off the coast of Blouberg in the Western Cape.

The Department of Transport this week agreed to fund the complete removal of the stranded vessel.

The Turkish bulk carrier ran aground amid stormy weather conditions in September, 2009. 

Last week Friday, harsh seas and swells caused the vessel to break into three parts and result in an oil spillage.

The leakage affected the Bloubergstrand and Dolphin beaches. It also harmed more than 70 African penguins - which have since been rescued.

Cape Town officials said it would cost government about R40 million to remove the shipwreck.

City of Cape Town mayoral committee member JP Smith said they were “extreme grateful” for efforts made by the Transport Ministry to pressure government into removing the ship.”

Meanwhile, more than 100 solid waste cleaning staff spent the week cleaning a thick layer of oil which washed ashore from Seli 1.

Smith said rescue workers also removed 15 loads of coal washed up on surrounding beaches.

The operation was successfully completed.

 (Edited by Thato Motaung)