The situation at Richards Bay clearly illustrates South Africa's continued coal addiction and shows that coal is dirty however it is used, and wherever it goes. The impacts of coal are often difficult to predict, but are usually devastating both to the environment and to people.
There are a number of uncertainties about the kinds of impacts that dumping this amount of coal in the ocean could have, but surely dumping 10 000 tons of coal is likely to have negative impacts on the surrounding marine environment.
The various agreements relating to the preservation of the oceans, including the London Convention, should be strengthened and implemented to deal with situations such as these which present catastrophic risks to the marine environment and its resources.
Greenpeace calls for a shift away from dirty, dangerous coal to create a safe, sustainable future for all South Africans.