KZN to improve air pollution

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KwaZulu-Natal is relying on its provincial “Air Quality Management Plan” to improve the region’s air pollution management strategy. However, work to draft a plan is only due to start next month.

Air pollution in hotspot areas like Durban has been identified as a challenge in the province’s 2018 Environmental Outlook Report.

Other issues like climate change, mining and illegal dumping have also been raised.

Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala says, “Elevated nitrogen concentrations are observed in the high traffic areas of eThekwini. The nitrogen dioxide is regarded as a new and emerging pollutant as traffic related pollution increases in the province.”

While recent increased rains have eased KZN’s drought situation, Zikalala says that the effects of climate change will impact the province’s agricultural, tourism, health and water sectors.

“From 2007, storms caused R250 million damage to property and the costs associated with storms are expected to increase as the frequency and intensity of these weather events increases. The revenue for the agricultural sector will reduce considerably by the end of the century as a result of the increased temperatures and reduced rainfall.”