UPL fire left Blackburn community with health issues, SAHRC told

The chemical factory caught fire during the civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal. This led to chemical spillage.

Witnesses from UPL Cornubia Fire Civil Society Action Group testifying at the National Investigative Hearing into the July 2021 Unrest.  Picture: @SAHRCommission/Twitter.

DURBAN - The community of Blackburn Village, in the north of Durban, said the UPL fire which broke out in Cornubia, north of Durban, in July left many with health issues.

The chemical factory caught fire during the civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

This led to chemical spillage.

On Thursday, community leader Kwanele Msizazwe was in the witness seat at the SAHRC inquiry in Umhlanga probing the July incidents.

During the proceedings, Msizazwe was asked if food security was affected as a result of the UPL fire.

"The are crops that were changing colour. Even the plants that are nearby the river are dry and damaged," he said.

Msizazwe said community leaders had no choice but to move those who were planting in their gardens in a bid to protect them.

He said that samples were taken but there had been no response.

Environmental Health specialist, Rejan Naidoo, described the UPL fire as an environmental disaster.