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After 30 years, SA’s most notorious toxic dump is at last being ...


After 30 years, SA’s most notorious toxic dump is at last being cleared

Tons of deadly mercury sludge, believed to have seeped into Durban’s Inanda Dam, are on the move from old Thor plant


A huge cleanup of SA’s most infamous stockpile of toxic waste is under way after decades of delays, but it could take another two years before the poisons are contained and remediated.

Stacked in warehouses, or simply piled up in untidy heaps in the open air, more than 4,000 tons of deadly mercury sludge have been accumulating at the old Thor Chemicals factory in Cato Ridge, west of Durban, since the early 1980s.

The waste was imported to SA by the British-owned Thor group, ostensibly to recover and recycle used mercury products. Instead, several workers died or became ill after being exposed to the deadly fumes and sludges, and the plant was eventually shut down in 1991.   ..

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