1887

n Historia - Civil society, pollution and the Wentworth oil refinery

Volume 51, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0018-229X
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Abstract

<b>Die burgerlike gemeenskap, besoedeling en die Wentworth olieraffinadery</b> <br>Hierdie artikel ontleed die geskiedenis van die politiek van besoedeling en petroleum raffinering in Suid-Afrika van die eerste dekade van apartheid tot die hede. Dit fokus op die land se eerste olieraffinadery, wat in die 1950's by Wentworth in die suide van Durban deur 'n Amerikaanse multinasionale oliemaatskappy opgerig is. Die oorsprong en ontwikkeling van omgewingsregulering in verhouding tot raffinadery besoedeling, deur 'n proses van geburokratiseerde besoedelingsbeheer word nagespeur. Daar word ook gekyk na aanhoudende besoedelingsprobleme en mislukte pogings tot besoedelingsvermindering deur middel van tegnologiese en kundige insette gedurende die totale tydperk wat deur hierdie artikel gedek word. Die studie beklemtoon die rol van burgerlike mobilisasie teen raffinadery besoedeling in die suide van Durban gedurende die afgelope halfeeu en skets die uiteenlopende reaksies van die plaaslike en nasionale owerhede hierop gedurende sowel die apartheid- as die post-apartheidera. Die artikel sluit af met die argument dat noemenswaardige vordering deur middel van volgehoue, waaksame burgerlike aktivisme gemaak is met die onlangse stryd om erkenning van die nadelige invloed wat raffinadery besoedeling op gemeenskappe in die suide van Durban het, maar dat tegnokratiese diskoerse, asook strategiese en ekonomiese faktore wat vorige burgerlike aksies teen raffinadery besoedeling gedurende die apartheidsera gekortwiek het, steeds belangrike stremmingsfaktore op die burgerlike samelewing se huidige veldtogvoering vir verbeterde besoedelingsbeheer bly.

This article analyses the history of the politics of pollution and petroleum refining in South Africa from the first decade of apartheid through to the present. It focuses on the country's first oil refinery, built at Wentworth in south Durban by an American multinational oil company in the 1950s. It traces the origins of the development of environmental regulation in relation to refinery pollution through a process of the bureaucratization of pollution control, and the persistence of pollution problems in the face of failed attempts at pollution abatement through technological and expert interventions throughout the article's time period. The study emphasises the role of civic mobilisation against refinery pollution in south Durban throughout the last half-century and delineates the varying responses of local and national government in both apartheid and post-apartheid contexts to this. The article concludes by arguing that significant progress has been made in recent struggles over recognition of the deleterious impact of refinery pollution on communities in south Durban through persistent, vigilant civic activism, but that technocratic discourses and strategic and economic factors which short-circuited earlier civic struggles against refinery pollution during apartheid, remain important constraints on civil society campaigning for enhanced pollution abatement today.

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/content/hist/51/1/EJC38212
2006-05-01
2016-12-11

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