UPL disaster: Residents kept in the dark about dangers on their doorstep

Test results have finally confirmed that pesticides – including known carcinogens – poisoned rivers, soil and beaches in Durban. Provincial authorities say they have opened a criminal case against agro-chemical giant UPL but for residents who were exposed to toxic fumes and contaminated water, there is a growing fear of the unknown long-term health effects.

AmaBhungane is hiring!

Help lead our investigative journalism team.

UPL disaster: Initial tests found high levels of arsenic from Durban’s chemical spill

Eight weeks after a fire at the UPL chemical warehouse, long-awaited test results confirm that chemicals contaminated soil and rivers leaving them “highly toxic”. But internal letters show that even UPL’s own experts disagreed over what the results actually meant for public safety.

AmaB Advocacy: Internal political party campaign financing — all eyes on the high court

Comment: AmaBhungane has argued in the Pretoria high court that donations to internal political party campaigns – which can lead ultimately to the candidate’s elevation to high office – are constitutionally required to be disclosed.

“Dr Dan” Matjila’s secret deal to make Survé’s R700m debt to pensioners ‘disappear’

Yet another court case has laid bare allegations the former chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation secretly signed away state pensioners’ claims worth hundreds of millions of rands to help his alleged friend, media mogul Iqbal Survé.

UPL chemical disaster: A gaping legal loophole or jaw-dropping negligence?

How did a warehouse storing tons of toxic and flammable chemicals, some banned elsewhere, quietly move in next door to a school, a Makro superstore and a wetland without anyone knowing? 

Independent “outsources” staff to tap Public Investment Corporation billions

Iqbal Survé’s Independent Media — and other companies in his Sekunjalo Investment Holdings stable — have moved dozens of workers to the legally unrelated but PIC-subsidised payroll of Ayo Technology Solutions. Among them is at least one journalist — the controversial former Sunday Times investigator Mzilikazi wa Afrika.

Chemical warehouse torched in Durban

Here it is: The toxic stockpile of chemicals in torched Durban warehouse

UPL, one of the world’s largest chemical multinationals, refuses to disclose what poisoned a Durban river, the city’s air and its beaches. Now amaBhungane has accessed the inventory, which includes suspected carcinogens, neurotoxins, chemicals that “may damage the unborn child” and tons of “highly caustic” substances that burn skin on contact.

Ekurhuleni: High hopes trashed as millions promised to community contractors evaporate

A R1.2-billion Ekurhuleni waste management project to upgrade small-scale community operators into viable businesses has ended in acrimony over broken promises, dashed hopes – and a puzzle over where much of the money went.

Special project: Tenders and powerships — all amaB’s stories on the RMI4P emergency power bidding process, Karpowership SA and more

Government’s strategy to address the country’s energy crisis — through its 20-year, multi-billion rand tender, has come under the microscope since energy minister Gwede Mantashe’s initial call for proposals in mid-2020. Allegations, as exposed by AmaBhungane, bring into question the true intent of those involved in the process. To know more about those allegations, dig into our archive of work on this controversial tender.

Powerships: Inside the Karadeniz money-spinning global empire

The powership conglomerate earns an astonishing amount from its specialist offering to frail and broken states. But many of its deals around the world have been criticised as exploitative and irrational. South Africa may become the biggest prize of all. And we have already helped fund the growth of this corporate empire.

AmaB comment: Departures and arrivals

A 20-year journey with Stefaans Brümmer and Jacob Zuma may be coming to an end, but with your support, amaBhungane’s work goes on – and remains as vital as ever. 

Advocacy update: Constitutional Court vindicates amaBhungane’s legal strategy to ensure transparency in internal political party campaign funding

We will make our case for transparency once again in the high court.

How Karpowership was torpedoed by substandard environmental studies

The R225-billion powerships deal may finally be sunk by the environment department’s refusal to authorise the Turkish-led consortium’s projects. It failed to deliver adequate environmental reports or listen to warnings from specialists, the department said.

Powership company trails corruption claims in its wake 

The Turkish company that won a controversial bid to plug the hole in Eskom’s electricity supply has been dogged by corruption accusations abroad.

AmaBhungane is hiring!

Join South Africa’s leading investigative journalism team.

Powerships: Enviro investigation could capsize R225-billion deal

The Karpowership SA consortium is weeks away from its deadline to wrap up a 20-year electricity supply deal with Eskom. But a Green Scorpions investigation into “misleading” information may prevent it from getting the environmental authorisation it needs.

Powerships: Officials confirm they met rival bidder, ‘minister’s associates’ at Kream

Last month, gas-to-power entrepreneur Aldworth Mbalati made explosive allegations of corruption in a court application. Now, two senior officials from the minerals and energy department have confirmed under oath that they met Mbalati and two alleged associates of Gwede Mantashe at an upmarket restaurant where they discussed a tender worth billions. But while Mbalati says he was pressured to engage in a corrupt scheme, the officials say they assured Mbalati that the tender would be clean.

Karpowership slams rival bidder in corruption case

The Turkish-led consortium has, in court papers, denied any involvement in corruption. It hit back at accuser DNG Power Holdings – asking why, if DNG was aware of corruption, it said nothing until its bid was disqualified.

Update: McKinsey to return R870m state-capture money to Transnet

The money was earned from a three-year partnership between the consulting behemoth and state capture enabler Regiments Capital. McKinsey continues to insist that it was unaware that Regiments was channeling part of the fees to the Guptas.