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About Air Pollution
The gas sulphur dioxide (SO2) is commonly emitted from industrial ...


Pollution Map & Complaints
The Association has established a real time monitoring ...


Frequently Asked Questions
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Who we are? Structure of the RBCAA

The Richards Bay Air Quality Project

Richards Bay is a town on the north east coast of South Africa. It is situated on a large coastal plain varying in altitude from sea level to 60m and in width from 3 to 20km. The coastline in the area is characterized by a steep eroding sandstone cliff-face and a strip of one to four dune ridges which are parallel to the coast and reach a height of approximately 100m. The only break in coastal dune ridge is the harbour and sanctuary entrances. The area is bounded to the north and west by broken ridges also up to 100m. The Port of Richards Bay is Africa's largest port with substantial bulk handling capacity and is home to the largest single coal handling facility in the world. The area incorporates various forms of commercial, light and heavy industrial activities including two aluminium smelters, a kraft process paper mill, a phosphoric acid fertilizer plant, a minerals refining plant and a number of smaller chemical and mechanical processors. The proximity of a number of key industries to the residential areas has increasingly been a cause for concern.

As a result of concerns regarding the levels of air pollution in the Richards Bay region, the Richards Bay Clean Air Association, a Section 21 company (not for gain) was established.

Actions of the RBCAA

The Association has established a real time monitoring network to characterize the quality of air. The RBCAA monitoring network includes five SO2 monitoring stations, eight meteorological stations and a base station. The purpose of this system is to assess air pollution in Richards Bay by monitoring ground level concentrations of sulphur dioxide. This information, combined with the outputs of the HAWK (a pollution dispersion model), is used to monitor the emission of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.
A pollen monitoring network has also been established in the area to establish seasonal trends and to ascertain the origin and source of actual potential or health hazards from vegetation.

The RBCAA seeks to

Take appropriate action to ensure that ambient concentrations of airborne pollutants are below Department of Environment guideline limits,
Ensure that the information provided to and derived from the system is demonstrably of the highest quality that may reasonably be achieved,
That the information so derived is available to all interested and affected parties and that the results will be interpreted in such a way that they are readily understood by all dparties,
Ensure that the system will be expanded to include other priority air pollutants, where practically and economically feasible.

Future Goals

The Association intends to expand the system to include the monitoring and modeling of additional gases such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur trioxide and to finalise and implement particulate monitoring.
A long term goal is to link the HAWK model to a weather forecasting system which will allow industry and local authorities to be aware of the arrival of weather conditions not conducive to dispersion. This will facilitate the implementation of appropriate management actions to minimise emissions during this period.

History of the RBCAA

To be updated...

Monitoring Network

The RBCAA monitoring network consists of 10 stations:
- Arboretum
- Brackenham
- CBD (situated in the Sports Complex)
- Harbour West (near the western entrance to the harbour)
- Scorpio (intersection of John Ross Highway and West Central Arterial)
- Mtunzini
- St Lucia
- Airport (at Richards Bay Airport)
- Bayside (next to Bayside Aluminium)
- RBM (situated at Richards Bay Minerals)

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SANAS accreditation

SANAS accreditation
The monitoring system, as maintained by SGS Environmental Services, is accredited by the South African National Accreditation Service (SANAS) for the measurement of SO2 and PM-10. All results are reported at standard temperature and pressure.

The Hawk dispersion model

Concentrations measured at the fixed monitoring stations are compared to those predicted by the Hawk dispersion model. The Hawk dispersion model uses meteorological and topographical data, and an emission inventory to simulate the prevailing conditions in order to estimate the concentration of pollutants at any given point within the area of interest. This requires the use of certain assumptions, resulting in a variation between the modelled and measured SO2 concentrations presented.

Involved Parties
The RBCAA is funded and supported by

Bayside Aluminium
City of uMhlathuze
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Exxaro KZN Sands
Felixton Cane Growers Association
Founder Member (S. Camminga)
Hillside Aluminium
Island View Storage
Mhlatuze Water
Mondi Richards Bay
Mondi Felixton
National Ports Authority
Richards Bay Coal Terminal
Richards Bay Minerals
Tata Steel
Tongaat-Hulett Sugar
Transnet Port Terminals
Zululand Environmental Alliance (ZEAL)

Get in touch!


You can also use our contact page

For more information, contact :

The Richards Bay Clean Air Association:

Public Officer - Mrs Sandy Camminga
Tel: + 27 35 786 0076
Mobile: + 27 83 515 2384
Fax: + 27 35 907 5340

PO Box 10299