28 January 2021 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality’s role in Heavy Motor Vehicle & Hazardous Materials Incidents

On Thursday, 27 January 2022, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Fire Services responded to a heavy vehicle incident on the N2 highway. The scene involved a truck that lost control and overturned, resulting in oil leaking from it. This posed a high risk of oil spreading towards a close-by drain that leads to the Maalgate River.

The GRDM team was requested to assist George Municipality Fire and Rescue Services who initially responded to the incident.

Deon Stoffels, Acting Fire Chief Officer, said:  “After preventing the oil from spreading further the crew ensured that no fire ignited”.

The GRDM firefighters also restored the road to its former standards and ensured a safe road surface.

Legislation; i.e. The National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998 (NEMA) guides and its purpose is among other, to provide for co-operative environmental governance. This requires those responding to incidents, to establish principles for decision making on matters affecting the environment. Of particular importance is Section 30 for the control of incidents involving hazardous substances that could have a detrimental impact on the environment. This is a measure that gives effect to the provisions of Section 24 of the Constitution, regarding the protection of the environment.

Did you know?

Accident scenes are difficult to ignore and are in numerous cases a disturbance to motorists passing the scene. Many accident scenes are taking place near other accident scenes, merely because motorists were not paying attention to the road ahead and only focused on the emergency personnel attending to the accident scene. Passing motorists are therefore advised to adhere to the following:

  1. Observe changes in the traffic pattern around a given accident scene.
  2. Look for emergency personnel directing traffic.
  3. When directed to stop, do so immediately.
  4. Proceed through the scene slowly.
  5. Look for signs indicating what you should do.
  6. Be vigilant of personnel walking on the scene.
  7. Be vigilant of emergency vehicles arriving and exiting the accident scene.
  8. Do not disregard the instructions of emergency personnel.
  9. Remain calm and avoid stepping out of your vehicle.
  10. Keep doors and windows closed, to avoid inhaling in the fumes.
  11. Avoid smoking or attempting to light a cigarette or disposing of flammable goods (deodorant, acetone, paint, methanol, etc.).