Question NW298 to the Minister of Environmental Affairs

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02 August 2019 - NW298

Profile picture: Whitfield, Mr AG

Whitfield, Mr AG to ask the Minister of Environmental Affairs

(a) What are the legislative requirements concerning the operational aspects of the offshore bunkering operation in Algoa Bay; and (b) what number of (i) litres of oil have been spilled since the specified operation commenced, (ii) ships have docked alongside the bunkering ship since the specified operation commenced, and (iii) people are directly employed as a result of this bunkering operation?


a) Offshore oil bunkering operations are authorised through the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). Application requirements and procedures are outlined in SAMSA’s Marine Notice No. 4 of 2016, which also identifies Section 21 of the South African Marine Pollution (Control and Civil Liability) Act, 1981 (Act No. 6 of 1981) as the main piece of legislation authorising this activity. There is currently no gazetted regulation or authorisation process in place for this activity (and there is no process in place for public participation/consultation with interested and affected parties prior to authorisation.)  

If an incident impacting on the environment were to occur, as a result of the bunker operations, the responsible parties are required to submit reports to the Department as per Section 30 of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998).

b) (i) The Department is aware of two (2) oil spill incidents related to offshore bunkering in Algoa Bay. The first incident took place on 14 August 2016 wherein approximately 100 liters of oil was spilled. The second incident occurred on 6 July 2019 and, reportedly, 200 liters of oil was spilled. This latest incident is still under investigation by SAMSA, after which a confirmed volume of oil spilled will be reported. Further information can be obtained from SAMSA.

(ii) and (iii) SAMSA and Transnet National Ports Authority for the Port of Ngqura are the authorities who jointly authorise and monitor the bunkering activities in Algoa Bay, and will therefore be able to provide this information.





DATE: 02/08/2019

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