Stay home to stay safe? South Durban‘s fence line communities in pandemic times (Jeannine-Madeleine Fischer)

In the so-called fence line communities adjacent to the notorious Engen refinery on Tara Road in Wentworth (South Durban), diverse aerosols jointly flooded the air – among those, benzene and sulfur dioxides are known to be carcinogenic and respiratory irritants. The Engen refinery was South Africa’s oldest crude oil refinery and was commissioned in 1954, producing 135 000 barrels per day until last. Since the incident this post will focus on, the refinery has been closed and, according to current plans, will not be put back into operation. Instead, it will be repurposed as a storage site.

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