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Is Johannesburg’s air quality compromised?

Director of Air Quality, Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Lebo Molefe says there are interventions such as providing electricity to people and tarring roads to ensure that dust is suppressed.

Joburg’s air is smokerier than it used to be. This is also according to the article in Business Insider. Both local and international assessors note the dangerous air quality, which poses a serious health risk, especially during a pandemic.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has launched an investigation elevated levels of sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide in Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Gauteng’s air quality, which is affected by nearby power plants, refineries and coal-fired industries, deteriorates further in cold weather. This year’s winter season, which was particularly brutal, deteriorated air quality in Johannesburg, the Midrand and even in Tshwan.

Lebo Molefe, Director of Air Quality at Joburg, Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure, has more.

At face value, air quality in Joburg seems rather worrying. I was also driving in the city this morning and it was very foggy. This is because there is a cold front, as you know we are at the top.

Lebo Molefe, Director of Air Quality, Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure – Johannesburg

Log in to SAAQIS (Air quality information systems in South Africa)) website and check the air quality in Joburg while we talk. I quickly checked and our stations look green. Remember that air quality is also determined by the National Air Quality Standards.

Lebo Molefe, Director of Air Quality, Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure – Johannesburg

Remember that the seasons change. As I pointed out, there is a cold front. Our pollution hotspots are also attributed to the legacy of mining, so you can imagine with more wind, after which the dust rises and then hangs in the air.

Lebo Molefe, Director of Air Quality, Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure – Johannesburg

We have an air quality management plan that sets out what we need to do, and it ranges from interventions such as providing electricity to people, tarring roads to ensure that dust is suppressed during pre-planting. Cross-border aspects are what we are struggling with.

Lebo Molefe, Director of Air Quality, Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure – Johannesburg

Hear below for the full interview …


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