A foundry in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, has been closed down because of its excessive pollution, the environmental affairs department said on Thursday.
Independent Foundries was shut down on Wednesday following attempts by the Green Scorpions (the Environmental Management Inspectorate) to ensure the foundry adequately managed and controlled its emissions, spokesperson Mava Scott said in a statement.
"Operations will not resume until such time as measures are implemented to the satisfaction of the department which will eliminate excessive fugitive emissions from the site," Scott said.
The decision came after several inspections undertaken since April, during which the department found ineffective pollution-control equipment, resulting in the release of excessive emissions, clearly visible above the plant. The inspections also found very old and outdated furnaces, "extremely poor" housekeeping and ventilation, poor visibility within the foundry and no proper separation of waste.
Based on the above findings, the serious potential harm resulting from the operations and an increase in complaints from Roodepoort West residents, a decision was taken to employ more stringent action.