As noxious air puts kids in hospital, council disputes pollution data
Municipality says south Durban data - SA's worst - is because monitoring equipment doesn’t work properly
Battling to breathe, Durban teenager Alex Muthusamy and his five-year-old brother Jordan spent five days in hospital in 2019 after another toxic gas leak in the city’s heavily polluted southern industrial basin.
The two boys from Merebank are among hundreds of residents who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases that have been linked scientifically to the high level of airborne pollution in densely populated South Durban neighbourhoods that are sandwiched between two of SA’s biggest fuel refineries, a paper mill, sewage works, heavy truck traffic, and about 600 other industrial operations.
Their mum, Katelynn, is thankful that the family has medical aid to cover most of her sons’ recent R32,000 hospital bills, but she remains deeply concerned about pollution in the area...