Thabo Mdluli spoke to Dr Patience Gwaze – air quality chief director at the Department of Environmental Affairs about the country’s air quality and the impact of air pollution.
Last week, a pungent and unpleasant smell permeated the Johannesburg air, and it was found to be caused by pollution from Mpumalanga’s power plants and industrial operations.
Questions about the state of air quality in the city were raised but Johannesburg officials assured city residents that despite the stench, air quality in the metropolitan remained safe.
Thabo Mdluli spoke to Dr Patience Gwaze – chief air quality director at the Department of Environmental Affairs, about the country’s air quality and the impact of air pollution.
Gwaze admitted that there are parts of South Africa that have poor air quality, adding that these areas are primarily in close proximity to industrialised areas.
The three high-priority areas that her department has identified are the Highveld, Waterberg-Bojanala and Vaal Triangle Airshed.
We do have pockets of poor air quality in the country and these pockets are confined to as you indicate some of the industrialised parts of the country… these areas we are identifying as priority areas where we are putting interventions to improve the management of air quality and to reduce the air pollution in those areas.
Dr Patience Gwaze, air quality chief director – Department of forestry, fisheries and environment
Gwaze also noted that Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo and the North West are some of the provinces where the footprint of air pollution spreads significantly faster, with the source and impact of air pollution being compacted in areas where power stations are located.
We recognise that some of the power stations do require to be decommissioned because they are old some of them are more than 50 years old and we acknowledge that.
Dr Patience Gwaze, air quality chief director – Department of Environmental Affairs
Listen to the full interview below:
This article first appeared on 702 : ‘We do have pockets of poor air quality in the country’ – Environmental Affairs