NPA dismisses claims

The National Ports Authority (NPA) says it can contain any oil spillages in Saldanha Bay harbour, dismissing claims by environmentalists that it does not have an adequate plan or enough equipment in place.

The National Ports Authority (NPA) says it can contain any oil spillages in Saldanha Bay harbour, dismissing claims by environmentalists that it does not have an adequate plan or enough equipment in place.

In a statement yesterday, the NPA criticised a weekend media report that said Saldanha Bay and the adjoining Langebaan Lagoon - an internationally recognised site of environmental importance - face a potential catastrophe from oil spills.

"The story is misleading and inaccurate. It creates the impression that the Transnet National Ports Authority do not have the necessary measures or contingency plans in place to deal with oil spillages, and nothing could be further from the truth.

"When combating oil spills the golden rule is containment, and with our marine services being available 24 hours, we are in the best position to respond to any incident.

"We currently also have four operational craft that can be committed to oil pollution control and the deployment of booms, if the need arises," the NPA said.

The Weekend Argus newspaper on Saturday quoted a local environmentalist as saying the ports authority was equipped only to deal with oil spills of up to seven tons.

For anything larger, it would need to call for help from national authorities. - Sapa

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