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Company closure will have ripple effects

The closing of ArcelorMittal has far reaching effects, and may even have an influence on environmental monitoring in Saldanha Bay.

This André Kruger, chairperson of the Saldanha Bay Water Quality Forum Trust (SBWQTF), told those attending the forum’s AGM on Thursday 20 February.

He laid out the challenges the SBWQFT faces this coming year, the capacity to keep up with the volume of work topping the list. Monitoring is also increasingly becoming a challenge owing to an increase in industrial activity in the bay.

As for the developments taking place, work is being done to align the various monitoring programmes the forum runs, to “get a holistic picture, and to streamline” the SBWQFT’s plans for the next 10 years.

But progress has been made on many fronts, with members and contributors to the forum growing steadily. The SBWQFT, a NGO, is funded by various industry stakeholders to monitor the health of the bay and Langebaan Lagoon. Building regular and long-term funding partners is important to keep the forum going. According to Kruger, the Amsa plant closure could mean more financial restraints in relation to monitoring. The company is a contributor to the forum.

Its Operations Manager, Christo van Wyk, said contributions from Amsa and PPC are uncertain, as no financial contributions are noted in the 2020/’21 Amsa budget. He said the forum’s budget is on par, and if all outstanding contributions are paid on time all necessary funds for the year will be available.

. More information on the SBWQFT can be found on the forum’s website at www.sbwqft.org.za.

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