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Sasol contributed to Vaal River system pollution, says whistle-blower

The whistle-blower, who's been a Sasol employee for about 15 years, has testified about the number of harmful chemicals that are disposed of by the petroleum giant.

An SANDF technical team works to restore infrastructure at the polluted Vaal River system. Picture: @SANDFCorpEvents/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - A Sasol employee has lifted the lid on the petroleum giant’s alleged non-compliance with how it disposes of its waste and how it’s contributed to the pollution of the Vaal River system.

The employee was testifying at the final sitting of the Human Right Commission’s inquiry into the contamination of the Vaal River in Johannesburg earlier on Wednesday.

The area is in the grips of a disaster as pollution and raw sewage continues to pour into the stream.

The whistle-blower, who has been working at Sasol’s Secunda Plant in Mpumalanga for about 15 years, has testified about the number of harmful chemicals that are disposed of by the petroleum giant.

“Vanadium itself can cause birth and genetic defects, etc.“

He says Sasol is not disposing of its waste in line with its licence: “There’s been a lot of instances where I reported it, but like I said, it’s unmeasured you can’t give a quantity. It can be mega amounts.“

In 2018, the petrol chemical giant denied that it was responsible for the pollution in the Vaal River.

It, however, admitted that it struggled to interpret some of its compliance requirements, which led to the closure of three of its incinerators.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)