What’s That Foul Smell? Strong Stench In Joburg Could Last Until Saturday… Gauteng residents may have to put up with the ‘big stink’ until Saturday.
This is according to Gauteng Weather, which alerted residents to a strong stench blowing in from Mpumalanga.
“Big stink returns to Gauteng due to winds blowing in from Mpumalanga. Unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups until Saturday,” it said.
The City of Johannesburg said it is investigating the cause of the smell. The city woke up to a similar stench early last year.
According to the department of environment, forestry and fisheries, that was likely due to elevated levels of hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide from a Sasol plant in Mpumalanga.
After inspection, it was found the release of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide from the Sasol plant were within the approved limits of the Atmospheric Emission Licence issued to them by the Gert Sibanda Municipality on April 23 2019.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that hydrogen sulphide concentrations should not exceed 5.02 parts per billion (ppb) within a 30-minute averaging period to avoid substantial complaints about odour annoyance among the exposed population,” said the department at the time.
“There was also a low-pressure system in the north of the Mozambique Channel that gave rise to a rather uncommon circulation pattern over the region. These conditions created prevailing south-easterly winds that allowed for transportation of air pollution from the Mpumalanga industrial region into Gauteng, particularly over the cities of Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Pretoria.”
This week’s stink saw many saying on social media there was a sulphuric pong in the air.
Here is a snapshot of what they had to say:
Does the whole of Jhb smell like sulphur dioxide today or is it just my place?
— Robert. (@RobForbesDJ) June 8, 2022
There’s an awful sulphur smell in the air all over Johannesburg today. Is this the same situation as last year’s air pollution from Sasol’s Secunda plant? This smells like a serious health hazard! 😵☢️
— Ulrich Janse van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) June 8, 2022
There’s a lovely sulphurous edge to Johannesburg’s air today to remind everyone that the winter toxic smog season is here.
— Joseph Cotterill (@jsphctrl) June 8, 2022
Driving around Joburg and the sulphur smell is BEYOND in Randburg and Rosebank.
— Basetsana Morekure (@BaseMorekure) June 8, 2022