These areas have the worst air pollution in South Africa
These areas have the worst air pollution in South Africa.Photo: . Pictures may be protected by copyright.
While the main culprits may not surprise you, the bronze prize for pollution goes to a newcomer.
The two regions in South Africa with the worst air pollution are repeat offenders and will not cause much surprise, but the area in third spot in this dirty race to the bottom was unspoilt wilderness not too long ago Figures contained in a detailed air quality report, presented in Parliament by the Department of Environmental Affairs, show the Vaal Triangle’s air to be the most polluted in the country, followed by the coal fields of the Mpumalanga highveld. The third worst air quality can be found in and to the north of (“behind” in local parlance) the Waterberg in Limpopo. The worst air pollution in South Africa: Cities and suburbs The worst air pollution in the country is to be foundspecifically in the suburb of Three Rivers in Vereeniging, and the nearbytownships of Sharpeville (at Vanderbijlpark) and Zamdela (at Sasolburg). On the Mpumalanga highveld, the towns with the most heavilypolluted air are Standerton, Delmas, eMalahleni (formerly Witbank), Middelburg,Hendrina and Ermelo. In the Waterberg region the towns of Lephalale (formerlyEllisras), Thabazimbi and Mokopane (formerly Potgietersrus) were singled out fortheir dirty air. Generally, air pollution levels in South Africa haveremained largely stable over the last few years. Air quality is measured dailyat 136 monitoring stations operated by the state and about 25 operatedprivately. On top of the three worst areas already referred to above,there were a number of towns and neighbourhoods where air pollution reachedunacceptable levels at least once (and in some cases more often) in the lastyear Read: WHO Report: Air pollution causes more deaths than smoking Places where pollution has reached ‘unacceptable levels’ The affected areas were Phalaborwa, George, Bellville South,Cape Town City Bowl, Cape Town Atlantic Seaboard, Goodwood, Khayelitsha, TableView, Bedfordview, Springs-Etwatwa, Springs Central, Vanderbijlpark,Olifantsfontein, Thokoza, Alexandra, Buccleuch, Soweto-Jabavu,Olievenhoutbosch, Rosslyn, Bloemfontein Central, Port Elizabeth-Walmer, DurbanCentral, Chatsworth, Durban-Wentworth, Marikana and Mahikeng. Cape Town In Cape Town, air pollution levels are very low, but thehighest levels of air pollution were measured at the Wallacedene informalsettlement near Kraaifontein, in Khayelitsha and in the Cape Town city centre. Johannesburg The level of air pollution in Johannesburg is generally aboutsix times higher than in Cape Town, with the townships of Alexandra, Diepslootand Ivory Park the worst affected areas. Pretoria’s air pollution is about three times worse than inCape Town. In Pretoria, the situation is worst in Olivenhoutbosch (nearCenturion), followed by Pretoria West in second place and the suburb ofBooysens coming in third worst. On the East Rand, pollution levels are lower than inJohannesburg but higher than in Pretoria. Etwatwa township near Springs has theworst air quality on the East Rand, followed by the Wattville area close toBenoni. Germiston has the third worst air quality on the East Rand. Durban The three worst affected neighbourhoods in Durban are thecity centre, Chatsworth and Wentworth. Surprisingly the town of Standerton, which is some distanceaway from the province’s mining and heavy industrial hubs, measured the most pollutedair on the Mpumalanga highveld, followed by Delmas second worst, Balfour thirdand Middelburg fourth. In addition to the established reasons for and causes ofSouth African air pollution, the air quality report listed power outages as anew contributing factor to a periodical worsening of air quality.