Victims of burst gas pipe seek redress

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Residents of Belvedere, in Tongaat, north of Durban, are disgruntled at the findings of a six-year-long inquiry into a pipeline burst that left thousands of people devastated.

On December 24 2001, a Petronet gas pipeline burst in the vicinity of Trubel and Belfrost primary schools and a number of houses and flats were destroyed.

Vehicles parked in a parking lot were damaged and more than 12000 people were affected.

A commission of inquiry was established to determine the causes and whether anyone was responsible.

After six years, a report was finally released on Friday. It was found that neither Petronet nor Sasol Gas were at fault.

Gabriel Ndabandaba, the provincial MEC for agriculture and environmental affairs, said: "It has been established that the construction company was negligent in that they failed to ensure that all reasonable and necessary investigations were undertaken."

But Michael Abrahams, a local councillor, said they would take the legal route to ensure that residents were compensated.