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Environmental accident

Criminals produce a diesel spill as Transnet witnesses a 'dramatic' increase in fuel theft.

An illegal fitting was detected on Transnet's fuel pipeline between Jameson Park and Alrode in Gauteng on Sunday, creating a leak that left emergency officials scurrying to stem the spread of a pool of diesel, water, and sewage. As gasoline prices rise, there has been a significant increase in fuel theft.

Three attacks on Transnet pipeline in past week

In its response to Fin24's inquiry, Transnet Pipelines failed to offer an estimate of the volume of petrol that was spilled. According to the report, emergency services were summoned immediately, but they had difficulty locating the source of the gasoline leak since an upstream sewage breach had inundated and swamped the region with effluent. According to the business, the improper fitting was eventually located near Mapleton, Boksburg, along the N3.

Petroleum products contain a number of potentially harmful substances, and diesel pollution can result in water contamination that poses major environmental and health problems. Fuel cleanups may be expensive and difficult. This is not the first occasion this year that crooks have spilled fuel. The Meul River was contaminated in March as a result of robbers attempting to steal fuel from the pipeline between Durban and Heidelberg.

At the time, Transnet said that its security measures had reduced these occurrences by half over the previous 12 months. However, despite some early successes, the pipelines division informed Fin24 on Tuesday that "the pilferage occurrences have escalated considerably" and that since April, it has already had over 40 thefts. It stated that it will continue to collaborate with law enforcement.

The gasoline pipelines operated by the state-owned logistics firm transport all of South Africa's bulk petroleum, and the line between Jameson Park and Alrode is part of a multi-billion-rand multi-product network project with a lifetime of more than 70 years. However, Transnet has been dealing with rising theft and vandalism, which has cost the company billions of dollars in order to protect its infrastructure.

Gasoline theft has been a significant issue for the corporation, resulting in millions of gallons of fuel lost, infrastructural damage, and environmental harm. 8.5 million gallons of petrol worth R102 million were stolen in the 2019/2020 fiscal year alone.


Source: https://www.news24.com/fin24/economy/criminals-cause-diesel-spill-as-transnet-sees-dramatic-spike-in-fuel-theft-20220809

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