Disaster averted after illegal Transnet has warned the public about the dangers of erecting housing structures over its high-pressure multi-product pipelines. This is after a shack was spotted on the Kendal to Watloo pipeline in the Mamelodi area in Pretoria.
A suspect fled and is still at large after security personnel and police spotted a shack built over the pipeline network, with the intention to siphon fuel illegally.
The tampering incident resulted in a diesel spillage on Thursday. The emergency response plan included isolating the affected section of the pipeline to minimise and contain the extent of the diesel spillage and to commence pipeline repairs. The teams are still working on site.
The swift response by all emergency teams averted a disaster, as tampering with high-pressure pipelines is extremely dangerous and could lead to injuries and fatalities, fires as well as extensive environmental damage.
TPL is continuing to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to address the fuel theft incidents on its pipeline network. The task force has arrested more than 145 people and impounded several vehicles and fuel tankers. Investigations regarding these matters are ongoing.
“Not only is the continuous attack on the pipeline dangerous, it is a serious risk to the residents living next to the servitude, and could have dire consequences on the security of fuel to the inland market area,” according to a statement from TPL who have called on petroleum retailers and the public not to buy fuel from unregistered traders to curb the demand for illegal petroleum products.
Suspicious activities can be reported to the toll-free 24-hour call centre on 0800 203 843.