Welcome to Fresh Air for Hout Bay

Fresh Air for Hout Bay (FAHB) is a community interest group concerned about the odour pollution emitted from the Oceana fishmeal processing plant in Hout Bay. Since 2014, we’ve been working to understand the situation and identify ways to solve it. The issues are complex, far-reaching and sensitive and there is no easy solution.

On the one hand, the Oceana plant plays an important socio-economic role in terms of jobs, social contributions and cultural heritage, and it cannot simply be ‘shut down’ without serious socio-economic consequences. There is also no apparent technological solution that can be used to eliminate the smell. On the other hand, all South Africans share a Constitutional right to live in an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being, and that they can enjoy. Many in the community believe the odour pollution infringes on that right and contributes to a series of health, socio-economic and well-being ills.

A solution needs to be found.

FAHB’s main objective is to help create a healthy, positive and sustainable environment for the people of Hout Bay, one that is not marred by the odour pollution from Oceana’s plant. As such, we believe that:

  • All people have the right to live in a healthy and positive environment and should not be forced to compromise their environment to meet their basic needs
  • The odour pollution from the factory negatively impacts the health, well-being, and socio-economics of people in the community
  • Alternative enterprises need to be found that meet the needs of local communities and contribute to a positive environment

Unfortunately there is no easy answer, there is no single solution, and this will take time.

To help find a solution, FAHB needs your support. We need to hear your thoughts and ideas; we need to know how the odour pollution impacts you personally and professionally; we need you to help us gather information, and we need you to be an active participant in this process. This website should tell you everything you need to do that and we will continuously provide updates to keep you informed.

FAHB firmly believes the situation can change and we are committed to finding a sustainable solution to benefit all people in Hout Bay.

What can you do right now?

If you support what FAHB is advocating for, there are 8 easy things you can do to help.

  1. Register on the FAHB website.
    • We need to demonstrate how many people support our cause and to do this, we need you to register. It will take 3 minutes, you will be added to our database and will receive periodic correspondence from our organising team.
  2. Sign the FAHB petition.
    • FAHB believes that a long-term and sustainable solution needs to be found and FAHB is petitioning the City of Cape Town to do this. The more signatories we have, the more we will be able to find a solution that protects the interests of everyone.
  3. Write to the City of Cape Town.
    • We need the City of Cape Town to understand the severity of the situation and we need to provide them with accurate, reliable information. Send them an email and include the following information: date, time, location and impact experienced. Be honest and explain how the odour pollution impacts you. Please be respectful in your emails – we need the City to work with us to help solve this problem. For all the email addresses, right click over this hyperlink, select ‘copy email address’ and paste these into your email.
  4. Become informed.
    • You need to understand what the real situation is and you can do this by reading our FAHB fact sheet to get an overview or check out ‘What’s the deal?‘ for more detail. We need informed opinions and ideas and the best way to help is by understanding what is actually going on.
  5. Follow us on social media.
    • Keep up to date with FAHB correspondence on our Facebook page, join our FAHB discussion forum to share ideas, and follow our Twitter handle. Use the hashtags #OceanaStinks #FreshAirHoutBay and include the handles @CityofCT @WesternCapeGov @LuckyStarSA to help us gain momentum. Share information and help us have a discussion in a constructive manner.
  6. Get inspired.
    • Listen to the song “Lucky Star Ain’t What You Are” written and performed by Ike Moriz, and maybe this will inspire you to do something creative of your own. We need some fun and creative ways of communicating with people, so please send us your ideas.
  7. Send us your ideas.
    • This situation will only be solved through constructive collective action. If you have a background in marketing or law, are involved in research or business, have contacts or connections that could be useful, an idea for a social action or event, or even how we can better manage this group, please share this with us. We need a range of different skills and ideas to find a solution and everyone is welcome.


Comments 136

  1. Rosie Wilkins

    These awful fumes have made our family sick – numerous times ! Besides long term legal cases based on the health of the entire community ( hopefully some lawyer can someday put this together) how can we claim for regular doctors visits for colds Causes by these appalling air conditions.

  2. Daniel Joffe

    I live in Northshore. My mother from Johannesburg came to visit. On Monday night (24 April 2017) there was a terrible stench of fish that woke me up. My mom is allergic to fish and in the morning her lips were swollen and she was having an allergic reaction. I am wondering if it is possible this is from the air pollution?! She definitely did not eat fish that night.

  3. gary benton

    we have a property at 16 Sluysken Road, Northshore, Hout Bay which is regularly impacted by the smell emanating from the fish factory

  4. Melanie Cubitt

    Just bought a flat in Princess Beach. Wish I hadn’t now !! It was to live in but now I will rent it out and move elsewhere! That’s if anyone will pay rent to live in a stench !! My kids get sick. Spent so much money on tests for allergies as their sinuses are all ways blocked.. No allergies .. it’s the polluted air that makes them ill.. This is unexceptable.. You would NEVER get away with this in the UK. Would be sued for millions !!!!

  5. Martine

    What a dreadful night and morning – 29/30 March 2017. The ghastly smell woke us up at 3am and that was the end of our sleep – on a school night. I find myself becoming increasingly angry and feel so unheard and helpless. We live more than 5km from the factory and yet Oceana can ruin a good nights sleep for our entire family. This is becoming more and more common and we’re worried that it will only get worse. For nearly 10 years we never smelt the factory in Bokkemanskloof… but the last two years have seen an increase in the number of times we have smelt the nauseating stench in such high concentrations inside our home.
    Let’s hope these scrubbers will change things…

  6. Renate Henshilwood

    Clearly visible from my propert, sewage spill into our bay followed by fish factory going into action.
    The City of CT is using the fish factory to cover up the fact that they are still discharging raw sewage into our bay. They have not got the decency to put up warning signs for the general public., because that would be admitting guilt. Educated people don’t swimm in our bay and only walk their dogs. During the recent HBNHW Beach Patroll project the patrollers chased unsupervised children out of the river, which was an absolute sewage pit due to it coming from IY and a failure of the pump station located at Main Stream shopping Center.
    But – the powers that be at City of Cape Town chose to call Cape Town a world-class city.
    By God! We have a long way to go before having earned taht right.

  7. Ina Smal

    It will really be a relief if they can get rid of this awful stench and air pollution as my health and so many other residents and tourists suffer due to the mis management of theOceana fish meal plant.
    We are loosing numerous tourists and the publicity accompanied by word and mouth is not doing our comunity any good especially financially.

  8. chris priilaid

    Surely, the only reason the problem cannot be fixed is, Oceana deem it too expensive to do so?

  9. Christina de Beer

    I agree with Marianne Marsh
    07/03/2017 AT 9:42 AM –
    The argument that the factory was there before us is invalidated by the rates and taxes we pay. If we are forced to live in a stinking town, I also insist our rates and taxes are adjusted. City of Cape Town cannot have it both ways, either it is a fishing village or an upmarket suburb.


  10. Victoria

    I just spent the morning in Hout Bay for a couple of hours and was shocked by the stench,
    I am staying at an air bnb tonight and can smell it from several kilometers away. Such a shame I’m sorry !
    Will not stay here again .

  11. Gatvol

    I fail to understand why residents are required to deal with this problem by the overwhelming weight of repeated emails and consistent complaints.
    The problem is obvious and it is also obvious that Oceana do not have the will not inclination to deal with the matter.
    So why are the DA authorities so reluctant to deal assertively with this issue.?
    The time comes when it is obvious that registration of repeated complaints is fruitless and perhaps time to accept the inevitable which is that Houtbay is rapidly deteriorating and if it were not for the natural beauty is headed to becoming Randfomtein or Germiston-by -the -sea.

  12. Izak Labuschagne

    Am aware of two major investments for Hout Bay Harbour’s tourism industry that have been cancelled because of the problems around this factory.
    Secondly, if someone subjected the owners to such a smell at their homes they would approach the court for an interdict. Think this should be done so that such an interdict can be managed.
    This company operates in a void in the legislation in that nuisance noise is addressed but not nuisance smell. This is more than a nuisance, it amounts to assault as people need medical treatment for this. It is also causing financial loss in the tourism and BNB sector.
    The states condoning of the appalling conduct of the organization has resulted in the loss of investment, projects and development in the area. This will not end well for the factory when people take the time to take them down. Sooner or later that is going to happen.

  13. Marianne Marsh

    The argument that the factory was there before us is invalidated by the rates and taxes we pay. If we are forced to live in a stinking town, I insist our rates and taxes are adjusted. City of Cape Town cannot have it both ways, either it is a fishing village or an upmarket suburb.

  14. alan wright

    Spent a horrendous night inhaling what would appear to be toxic fumes and couldn’t sleep thereafter!The stench was and is unacceptable and we are pleased to assist in resolving this problem for the community.
    We spend most of the summers here and the discomfort experienced by friends and family have
    reached embarrassing levels,whereby our son and his friend who had planned a more lengthy stay with us ,curtailed early on account of the odour!! Who could blame them!
    On a more serious note what do all the tourists feel who are supporting the wider economy.Many day trippers do not comment;perhaps a petition should be drawn to there attention by lobbying them at the wharf .
    What must longer term visitors think?So damaging for accommodation providers,restaurants etc.
    We will be organising our own petition and sending it on to shortly to support the cause.
    Thank you. Alan . Nottingham, England.

  15. Pieter van Zyl

    I wake up this morning at 6am with my eyes red and sore and can’t breath. How cant this not be stopped. This is not healthy…. Its like killing everyone slowly and we just sit back and do nothing because there is excuses, Every bodies Health comes first.. Where is the studies on the long effect on our health. Why is Carte Blanche not involved, why is the minister of Health not involved. Why is the factory owners not living next to their stink factory? I can not even breath..!!

  16. Pieter van Zyl

    The smells started AGAIN, I am so sick the last 2 days, vomiting and head aces – silent asassan..!

    This cant be good for the workers. Why do they have to kill everyone just because it creates jobs. We can create jobs via tourism for everyone.

    The is pollution..!! and I promise the side effects will take effect

    Please put a STOP to this..!!! There must be a different way than to pollute. Like mines polluting water..?

    Get the minister of Health in..


    Thank you for starting a joint group against this terrible and unacceptable pollution.

    If the local administrations are not able to solve the problem we have to start actions

  18. Margaret Hanhardt

    Nothing worse than waking up in the morning to the disgusting odour of rotting fish and want to run to the bathroom and hurl!

  19. JB Groenevelt

    The people who really count(the rate payers of Hout Bay) are not considered for comment and to make the right decisions when it involves the community of Hout Bay their health and well being why don’t we just stop paying our rates!! And see how quickly we get a response.

  20. anthony mayer

    I am a chef at a private villa in Llandudno and the smell when the wind comes from Houtbay harbour is shocking. I want to buy a home here but having second thoughts

  21. Wianelle

    The smell is embarrassing to say the least. It definitely has a huge impact on the local hospitality industry and tourism. I have seen patrons leaving Lookout Deck restaurant because the smell was just unbearable.

  22. mike dollow

    These toxic fumes are interfering with my constitutional right to a happy and healthy occupation of my home .

  23. mike dollow

    My doctor says that I have to move out of Hout bay in order to avoid being sick every day , please do something about it .

  24. david ogden

    if oceana does get its licence renewed can we at least get the new lease with certain restrictions ie day time only,not at weekends,

  25. Pam boden

    The number of businesses existing and potential employment affected far outweighs the number employed by Oceana. See sense now as future investment in Hout Bay will undoubtedly dwindle.

    PS. I realise that is a sweeping statement as I only visit my family in Hout Bay but I was considering buying property there, but during my visits was so disgusted by the terrible pollution could not possibly consider doing so.

  26. Alan Wright

    Hi Elaine,
    I am now back in the U.K. having experienced the pungent -air during my stay from 1st February ’16until my departure on the 12th April,2016.I do recall reading a damning report in the local “freebie” newspaper toward the end of March or early April’16 .(I think its called “The Sentinel”
    If you are able to get copy you will see that some type of monitoring took place by an environmental body.My interpretation was that the monitoring was not thorough at all and the conclusion was that the owners were not breeching the law!!! Very convenient !!!
    Kind Regards,
    Alan Wright

  27. Paige

    Toxic air. My family and I have been experiencing severe skin irritation and rashes, getting sick more often, allergies, sinus, unable to breathe …
    We have been trying to grow plants but they continue to die.
    This smell now goes into llandudno, it is polluting the air as well as scenery for locals and especially tourists. My foreign friends choose not to come back after staying here for a WEEK, actually just under as the couldn’t stand it.
    People are moving, scared to swim in the sea …
    This is not okay! We choose to live in a healthy environment!

  28. Annie Kennedy

    I had a flat in Hout Bay on the Beach Front . So glad I sold in time . My sons health is at risk he had a bussines in Hout Bay as HairStylist
    WE CANNOT VISSIT HOUT BAY ANY LONGER .JUSTSO BAD !!!wanted to move there but between the smell and the crime it will be suicide !!!

  29. Mark Schlesinger

    This is unbelievable.
    Truly revolting. The arrogance and selfishness of this.
    Seriously? I would never run a business that hurts a whole. Community…. How can somebody be so brutally selfish…. That people must live with this.

    Whole is this guy who owns this business? Does he live in hout bay?
    I am sure that there is a class action case here. The smell tonight has rendered dead all the joy of nature and nature smells. Even it’s in my bedroom…

    This is obscene

  30. Robert Kievits

    I find it hard to believe that 100-odd people cannot be absorbed elsewhere in the local Hout Bay economy. So with that argument out of the door… Oceana would have to transport in outside workers. Who is winning the game? Oceana.

    Donations and support programs? PR and chump change for Oceana.

    The REAL money is NOT staying in Hout Bay. The REAL money goes to the fat cats and the politicos who support them!

    Go online, inform yourself and find out how the 0.1% live of your labour, sweat and declining health!!

  31. Robert Kievits

    I am getting lost in all the surveys I have signed by now…. sorry…

    The comment will stay the same: This disgusting odour pollution MUST stop. A majority seems to now be bending to the will and needs of the few, and the whole saga is played out with the ‘have and have-nots’ card and the race card.

    Let’s not lose sight of who is holding the deck and laughing! Politics and Money. The game is rigged and, trust me, YOU ARE NOT PART OF IT!! We are all getting f***ed by the same bastards!!

  32. Michael Franklin

    There is technology available to Oceana to ‘scrub” the noxious fumes It’s a capital expense of course that they choose not to spend Under clean air rules they should be forced to ameliorate their emissions or the plant should be shut down. It’s as simple as that. This initiative should only have either of these two outcomes as its goal

  33. Romy

    My main concern is for the health of residents of Hout Bay and surrounds. It’s pollution and pollution is never good. We need to measure what the pollution is doing. I’ve lived and worked in the area 6 years now. I believe there is an unusually high occurrence of allergies and flu in Hout Bay and wonder if Oceana’s smelly output is connected?

    My second concern is the stench is bad for business in Hout Bay. Who wants to eat out; or hang out; frankly… in the smell? Particularly those new to the area who aren’t used to it. And what does it say about the rest of us who ARE used to it. Restaurants, anyone in the tourism industry suffers here… so it’s not really fair to put Oceana before other businesses.

    Oceana is creating a nuisance and must be brought to bear. It must clean up it’s act and this must be done properly and with supervision.

    Thanks for letting me give input.

  34. Sharon Hone

    i’ve lived in the bay for 20 years and never experienced the stench to be as unbearably disgusting and repugnant as it is right now..it has most definitely got progressively worse over the last few years and I now find it totally unbearable. As rate paying residents of Hout Bay, it must surely be a violation of our human rights that we are driven to the point where there are times that we cannot bear to go outside or even open the windows of our homes? it’s complete madness

  35. Zana Bahlig-Pieren

    It’s just getting worse, day by day😁😜
    You can smell it in Constantia Nek area nowadays, yack!

  36. Izak Labuschagne

    Time to engage the Protection from Harassment Act. The gross inconsideration of the owners, their extensive manipulation of the system, dismal failure to contain the smell and the fact that they choose to live far away from it constitutes provocation in the extreme. Provocation is a criminal offence. Because it is not only a nuisance but extremely disruptive to normal civilized living it amounts to harassment. Because physical symptoms experience because of the intrusion need to be treated by doctors it amounts to assault. The aforesaid act is hybrid in relief. Civil claims for damages in respect of prescriptions and medical treatment and also for trauma, sleep deprivation and income losses should also be formulated. The definition of a noise nuisance under the noise pollution noise regulations of the Environment Control Act should be ipso facto adopted by the courts. It reads: “Noise Nuisance means any sound which disturbs or impairs or may disturb or impair the convenience or peace of any person” There are many ways to ltigate. establishing provocation is not difficult in this case. Harrassment and assault are just developments from the same basic doctrines of common law. It need not be confined to criminal law. Suing for prescriptions and trauma are also possibilities even though the law of qauntum in damages in South Africa is not nearly as developed as in the USA for example. Protection from Harassment act is designed to be used as hybrid forum. The Mag court can dispense with that at no cost to the applicant. Only the High Court can make a mandamus order so if someone wants to go that route they will have to decide what they confine the grounds to. The factory has clearly exploited all the loopholes and bleat “we have done more than is required” and neatly manipulated most of the public and lawyers into condoning what is in fact a major annoyance. Some lawyers do not even realize that the ‘coming into the nuisance” defense died in the appellate division about two years ago. Have a team of 3 attorneys and two advocates ready to role, but not without sufficient numbers seeking cohesive mandate aimed at stopping what for all intents and purposes is a ridiculous situation for 2016. Yes of course people must petition to change the laws, but all that will do is confine the litigation to whatever the senate decides on after all the politicking around the issue. A general approach in common law with pleadings confined to the simple and obvious issues is what is required. Even if the quantum attained is little if a few hundred or a thousand people sue based on a successful precedent obtained with a simple non technical action, will have a huge effect on the company. Any affidavits of complaint collected so far, and it looks like some do exist, (and it does not matter much for which fora at this stage) need to be made available as well. Without propper collaboration, this will just be social media babble.

  37. Gaynor Schulenburg

    Bad headaches nausea streaming eyes and nose. The smell is even right through the night. Cannot have any windows open. Today I even left the bay to get some relief.

  38. Colwyn Elder

    My children are at school in Hout Bay and said they could not go out to play at break due to the terrible smell!! Even worse, they said the smell in the classrooms was almost as bad!! It is affecting our children’s right to be educated!

  39. April Merdjan.

    The smell is beyond a joke and our health is in jeopardy. I had to see the Eye Specialist as pollution is affecting my eyes. This all costs money which we have no need to spend. Something must be done, we cannot go on living in our beautiful bay with this health hazard. It is a disgrace.

  40. Nina

    The fish factory has smelled since many years. Yet we can not recall that the stink has been as bad as in the last 2 years. It has actually become unbearable. Something needs to be done about it as it affecting our health, life quality, impacting businesses and tourism.
    Nina von Ketelhodt

  41. Maya

    We live in HB since 3 years and the smell is getting worse….DISGUSTING!!! We can’t open the windows for a good sleep, we get some health proplems and we want to help HB to become a better place with fresh air

  42. Wolfgang

    Hi @ all,

    The smell of the Oceana factory last days and specialy night was horrible. Please keep me informed about your activities and what we can do against this air pollution.

    Kind regards

  43. Melanie Cubitt

    Please help us. I cannot stand this anymore. My little boy has had trouble breathing this weekend. Our whole house stinks, curtains, rugs and washing. This has to be illegal. Human rights to breathe and not get sick should be something we shouldnt have to fight for. Just wonder what the long term affects of breathing these chemicals in are..

  44. Mark McCreadie

    I think the time has come for a class-action lawsuit against Oceana. I’m not sure how one get’s the ball rolling, but I’ll fill in whatever I have to and sign whatever petition I need to and march to the CEO’s house if I have to… Fresh Air for Hout Bay we will look to you to lead us in the right direction…

  45. C A Susan

    Have had sore red eyes for the past few months, only antibiotic drops help. Woke up with the smell at 06hr00 this morning .I live in Scott Estate Houtbay.

  46. graham lock

    Many more than 150 jobs can be created by developing that prime area into tourist attractions with organised market and entertainment features.

  47. Belinda Glass

    It’s not just a bad smell but an awful stench. If it was only just fish. I have been suffering with sinus and nausea and I live in Kenrock which is not far away enough it would seem.

    How many jobs are going to be lost in Hout Bay if this continues?

  48. Abri Meyer

    This past weekend the putrid smell in Hout Bay, and particularly where we live, Seagull Crescent, Harbour Heights, was unacceptable and definitely not conducive to healthy living!


    Something serious needs to be done by the UNCOOPERATIVE OWNERS to alleviate the problem!

    It is getting worse by the day!!!!

  49. Carly Ranger

    The putrid stench is now palatable (one can almost taste a garlic / metal ). My family, including 4 year old are all suffering from headaches (waking in the middle of the night). I awoke this morning with swollen eyes and swollen sinuses.

    This is no longer a “nuisance”. it is a violation of our rights and is affecting the health of many in Hout Bay.

    I have lodged complaints with the City of Cape Town and with management at Oceana. Sadly to no avail.

  50. Lynette Parkin

    Most horrid stench permeating last night 10/04/2016. I had to close bedroom window at about 2.00a.m. Suffering from sinusitis with repeated attacks of sneezing over the years from this vulgar stench. Enough is enough!

  51. Pam Newham

    It would be interesting to know how much tourism revenue is lost due to the fishy smell. It’s possible that it affects the general population in Hout Bay to a greater extent than we may be aware.

  52. sally

    Has anyone done an “Air analysis” Perhaps we should start an “Erin Brokovitch” campaign. I am convinced that there are toxic components to the pollutant and if we can prove that we would have better grounds for a class action suite. Also this might get more support from the Oceana staff if they were made aware that the complaint was not just against the smell but the content of the smell and that they were potentially harming themselves.

  53. Jeannie Kornmuller

    It has got to a point where, when the smell is particularly bad, my son and I suffer from headaches and red scratchy eyes. What toxins are we breathing in? I can not imagine what conditions the staff must work under in that factory.

  54. Annalies Lubowski

    We are sick and tired of living in this beautiful village but be subjected to the foul smelling air, the resultant sinus problems and the embarrassment when we have visitors

  55. Leithe Gie

    How can the claims that output has not gotten worse if we are now smelling this regularly in Bokkemanskloof?! I seriously pity those who have had to deal with this for years. But having purposefully bought higher up the valley to be “out of reach” for these issues we are less than impressed to be woken up to toxic smells and burning eyes. Disgusting, both the smell and the behavior of Oceana.

  56. Richenda Slingerland

    I’m not one who gets headaches and every time the factory is in production and our home on the hill above the harbor is sickeningly engulfed in the rancid, putrid, nauseating stench, my head hurts. It’s so bad at night, I am unable to sleep. Not only is it affecting my health, my ability to function as an effective and conscientious human being is being challenged. This is unacceptable to say the least and a colossal violation of everyone’s well being. It is beyond me that such a harmful pollutant be allowed to operate. Appalling.

  57. Steven Jansen

    I live in north of the factory, and am ill far more frequently in the past few years – suffering with acute sinusitus issues, all triggered by the unacceptable pollution pumped into the (what used to be) fresh sea air. I have lived in the bay for almost 20 years – this is the worst it has ever been.

    The City and its officials are failing the residents of Hout Bay on an epidemic level. Oceana is doing as it pleases and nothing is being done about it – this business needs to be brought into line! . . .

    I am amazed that any of the restaurants can still make a living as the stench as it not limited to the weekdays, but straddles weekends as well when HB is trying to entise tourists (both local and international).

    I have had guests over only to vacate with them over the nek as the smell is NOT conducive to a good braai, or diner get together.

  58. Barbara Silverman

    While we all are sympathetic with the thought of workers losing their jobs at Oceana, today overseas guests left the market without spending their pounds.
    So the economic future of Hout Bay is being held to ransom for these jobs.
    What about the thousands of tourists who leave, businesses that close down and those employees who lose their jobs?
    Not taking into account the thousands of residents who experience the nauseating and disgusting smell?
    This is not a race issue but one of sustained economic viability and environmental well being. Hout Bay is no longer a small fishing village!

  59. Flora Bruton

    Went on a boat trip to Seal Island yesterday and was listening to a load of overseas visitors complaining about the smell. Said that if they had know about the smell they would never have come to Hout Bay and will let their travel agent know about it in order to advise other tourists to stay away from Hout Bay. We don’t need this.

  60. Brenda Gedrych

    We are sick to death of the disgusting fish smells. Maybe we should picket the house of the owners in Llandudno????

    1. wendy.paarman

      Fresh air, natural water, healthful food is a basic ‘right’ we have on this planet.. Those that destroy this .. For Greed, Power and Money should be accountable to our children.. our planet,,, our gentle creatures that share our earth… I put my money where my mouth is (literally).. and am vegan!! I DO NOT and WILL NEVER partake in ANY activity that harms others.. human or other sentient beings.. The Innocents that voicelessly suffer…

  61. Monique

    The smell is unbearable and unpleasant. We moved into the area about 8 months ago and are considering moving out again due to the smell. Having visitors over or even relaxing in our garden has become a debate and it really shouldn’t. We took some friends to the market and the smell was so bad that we never even ate as were too nauseous. Something needs to he done about this pollution.

  62. Nic

    Im hosting a very important al fresco lunch today 10 April 2016, and this nauseating smell is hanging in the air. This is ILLEGAL AND CRIMINAL ! Why is the City of Cape Town allowing it ?? DA is as useless as the ANC and people are catching on. Good luck at the voting stations this year …

  63. Email Spike

    Along with your Emergency Response Team, you have to to have several lists
    readily available to make the most of throughiut your preparation, emergency andd the business recoverry part.

  64. Philip R. Weir

    Like all your commentators my wife and I are totally fed up with this appalling filthy stench coming from the Oceana plant. It is seriously affecting our health and ruining our lives as we have to close all windows and doors and cannot sit outside. We have had visitors from the UK who will for sure be returning home to tell of the horrors of the fumes from the fish factory – a story that will be repeated by hundreds of people and will eventually kill our town as a tourist attraction – how many people will that affect?
    Whilst I appreciate that this plant employs people and that is important to the local community but Oceana are I am sure in breach of regulations and our Municipal management must take further action to force them to clean up their processing and install equipment that will grossly reduce or eliminate these foul odours and health threatening emissions.
    It can be done – I used to work in the paper manufacturing industry and faced similar challenges. If we had allowed any plant in any country to fail so badly in the area of emissions it would have been closed immediately and not allowed to operate again until air purification equipment had been successfully installed and proven to work. There also would have been prosecutions against and sackings for those who had failed.
    I will support any sensible action and action group and will help in any way to bring pressure on these people who are making so many peoples lives a total misery.
    Let us all fight together for clean air in Hout Bay.

    1. Gerhard

      Object the overall HB rate increase because of the stench and H2S Hydrogen Sulfide Gas which is harmful the City has to act.

  65. Juliana

    I urge everyone to complain to the Mayor at the following address:


    She needs a show of force to enable her to act, so please lodge your complaints!! Lodging them with the polluters will not be effective. They are making money. We are all in favor of residents keeping their factory jobs, but not at this nausiating rate. Oceania must put in money and update their processing equipment or leave.
    This is the only option – no amount of talking or being nice is going to solve this stinking problem.

  66. Allison Schwegmann

    The putrid stench which emits from the Oceana fish factory in Hout Bay should not be tolerated, and no-one should be forced to suffer the consequences of this monster. As a Hout Bay resident of many years, I need an acceptable solution – having to close ones doors and windows is not acceptable, leaving Hout Bay (as some have suggested) is not an option. Oceana, please urgently address the problem you’re causing

  67. Lee Brudvig

    I settled in Hout Bay last year after living overseas for many years. I always tell friends that this area is one of the most beautiful in the world. Maybe one of the most beautiful, but also one of the smelliest at some times when the fish factory spews out stench. This is an embarrassment to the community and a raises the question of why we don’t take action to preserve the environment. There must be a way to mitigate the pollutants and preserve livelihoods.

  68. Glenda

    We have had such wonderful weather that my partner and I decided to go for a walk along Hout Bay Beach, we were going to have supper afterwards. It was really special and i was so excited about the area. We walked towards Mariners Wharf and when we got to withing good eyesight of the wharf I nearly vomited. The stench was overpowering. We immediately turned back and decided not to eat there. It smelled so bad I lost my appetite. We made our way back to “clean air civilization”. What is happening ? I googled factories in the Hout Bay area and got onto this sight. I cannot believe we need to have this decaying, putrid smell in these times

  69. Markus Bauriedl

    Has anyone considered the negative impact that this stench has on the overall economy of Hout Bay and real estate prices ? Why must the whole of Hout Bay suffer for the sake of one factory that employs a small percentage of the entire workforce in Hout Bay ? How many jobs will be lost in the longterm as a result of a drop in tourism and inflows from visitors outside Hout Bay ? Amazing that we have this smell permeating the entire village during the Argus weekend, the one event that brings us massive amounts of revenue each year.

    Furthermore, surely we all have a constitutional right to have clean air and live in a healthy environment. I find it very hard to believe that nothing can be done in terms of air filters or other available technology to rectify the problem. The Cape Town city council should address this issue and do what is necessary to either replace the filters or shut this factory down and find alternative employment for the people being employed there.
    This stench is becoming unbearable. We need to do something urgently !

  70. Kim

    I think it would be great if a solution could be found that works for all parties. Thank you for your efforts.

  71. Nicki

    It is clear that the safe levels of hydrogen sulphide emission from this factory are being exceeded which is directly responsible for a serious impact on the health of people who are exposed to it. For the past 4 days all the members of my family have been adversely affected and the smell and irriation is bad enough to wake one up at night . Nausea, burning eyes and throat, stomach cramps, headache, dizziness and most concerning, acute asthma attacks requiring medical treatment is what we have been suffering. It is possible to prove the harm done by exposure to hydrogen sulphide by having chest X-rays and blood tests done. This is a direct infringement of our Consititutional rights to living in a healthy environment. It is time somebody is held accountable for the damage we are being exposed to, including the workers in the factory. This is not merely an inconvenience. We are being exposed to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals which is a form of assault and cannot be tolerated.

  72. Sandra

    The nauseating stench is unacceptable. There must be ways to control this, alternatively the processing should be stopped until the problem is solved and the company finded.

  73. Denis and Val Brooks

    Having real trouble with the smell tonight .Its invaded our whole house even with doors and windows closed. Fan doesnt help, just moves the smelly air around. have candles burning but unable to breath easily . Its now 10 30 pm and the smell has been getting worse for the past two hours.March 4.2016

  74. Trevor

    My newborn, wife and are sitting indoors at 21:15 with a temperature of 27 degrees and we can even open a window.

    The smell just doesn’t ever stop. We are doing everything stated on this website and whatever else we can.

    This is no way for anyone to live or work.

  75. April

    We don’t want people to lose jobs but Oceana needs to stifle that dreadful, nauseating smell that is so unhealthy for the entire Hout Bay /Hangberg Communities.

  76. caroline

    complaining to Oceana is a waste of time, you receive an automated reply telling you the same lies they have been repeating since last year. When they state that they have the best facilities in South Africa, what does that mean to me, only that it does not work. I do not understand why these new scrubbers where not put in place whilst the factory was closed. I believe the order had only now been placed. Last point is why did they get additional production time this year when they are not able to improve until 2017.

  77. caroline psaros

    I am 56 years old and I am an asmatic and have been since young. I live in North shore and I can assure you that when the stench is so bad I am affected badly. I do not know if it is the chemical emission or the fact that I have to close all windows as the smell gets so bad it makes me physically sick, vomiting, headaches and unable to eat or sleep.

  78. Lara Ellis Green

    We have to do something! What action can we take as rate payers? Can we get all business on board? I am very happy to help in any way possible.

  79. Lara Ellis Green

    Once again we are forced to live with the disgusting putrid smell emanating from the factory. There is no escaping it as the factory seems to run both day and night. What impact will this have on our tourism to guest lodges, hotels and b&b’s? Who wants to eat out whilst smelling this smell, or walk our beach? This is likely to have a direct impact on these businesses. Does the community which comprises of rate payers not have a say?

  80. Barry Wessels

    City officials will spend millions this year relocating and re-instating erosion measures on the Frankenstein dune as a result of public nuisance and complaint, but allow Oceana to operate with total disregard to the self same communities, because of their political influence and well funded PR machine.
    shame on our City!

  81. Barry Wessels

    We all have a constitutional right to the enjoyment of clean air in our homes and properties. City of Cape Town disregards this!
    The City of Cape Town (Environmental dept) is responsible for re-issuing polluting licenses to Oceana, and permitting noxious odours to affect the entire Hout Bay!.
    Oceana (aka Lucky Star / Pet etc) can easily afford to upgrade their filters and scrubbers but will not do so if the City officials remain in cohoots with them. boycott them.!!

  82. Phee G

    The smell has started again, with a vengeance. More Hout Bay residents need to complain! However, it’s always useful to show facts and figures when making a complaint. Would it be a good idea for residents to keep a diary of the smells? I find that some days are not too bad, but others are completely unacceptable. For instance, last Tuesday, 23rd Feb 2016, was particularly bad in Northshore, and in the past week there were two nights when we’ve been woken up at about 3 am by the odour. This will have something to do with wind, and also with whatever process is happening in the fishmeal factory. If these episodes could be logged and correlated we might have some evidence to show the authorities.

  83. bernadette

    People who have autoimmune illnesses are being hit very badly with the toxic smell they inhale.
    I for one suffer badly and on the days when the factory is in operation, my throat is irrated, i feel it is being squeezed, my eyes get red and sting, terrible headache, cannot take a deep breath and i cannot function properly. There is something seriously wrong with the gases emanating from that factory.

  84. Nicki

    Please can something be done about this stench? My son is throwing up, we all have headaches and are constantly nauseated and tired. The smell wakes one up at night. This is a health hazard and something needs to be done!

  85. PJ

    We moved to the Hout Bay valley in August 2015. This is not a move I would ever have made had I known that I would have to live with this disgusting stench day in and out.

    It is completely appalling.

    Is there no way that the community can bring a class action lawsuit against this company? We all have a constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to our health or well-being.


  86. Nic Prinsloo

    I can literally see our property prices plummet. The unbearable stench forces you to close all your windows and in-prison yourself. So for the sake of 90 people the entire tax and rate paying village has to suffer. #oceanasucks

  87. Charmaine Wessels

    We begin another year and the processing of the fish factory Oceana has started. No changes! We are still been affected by Oceana! Itching eyes, coughing, sneezing, headaches…the smell is disgusting. All day and early hours of the evening. What will ever be done, this is so unacceptable!

  88. Jean Mcbride

    Why do we have to put up with this sink?There are thousands of residence living in Hout Bay paying very high RATES and yet our Municipality are turning a blind eye on us all for the sake of One Hundred people who would lose their jobs but, for the thousands of people that live in the valley WE HAVE NO RIGHTS OR SAY IN THE MATTER? why????
    I think if we all stopped paying our rates and put it in a trust fund until this stink is stopped!We now talking of millions of Rands!

  89. Jean Mcbride

    How can they allow this pollution to continue when thousands of residence in Hout Bay have for over fifty or more years have been complaining about the stink coming from Oceana fish factory!
    Pollution is a offence !!
    BUT! For the sake of a hundred people losing their jobs the rest of the people in the valley of Hout Bay have to put up with pollution and their are thousands of people paying high Rates and bonds so as to live here ……Why can our municipality not do something about it ?Why?Who is getting backhanders to keep quiet it is an offence air pollution???

    1. Renate Henshilwood

      A hundred people employed at the fish factory of which many are not even from our fishing village but imported from elsewhere.

  90. Gary Simpson

    One wonders if truth exists in allegations that in an effort to conduct damage control which seems to have gone horribly wrong, a CEO who claims to come from the valley and his executive, indirectly staged controlled protest action against themselves, irresponsibly attempting to abuse public interest and the concerns of responsible Hout Bay residents searching for a positive solution to protect the interests of 98 affected unlucky star workers including everyone else who reside in the communities of Imizamo-Yethu, Hangberg and elsewhere in the valley. An honest approach to achieve desired objectives in the best interests of all concerned is possible without trying to blame it on white nostrils in a volatile environment that may incur liability – supremely unintelligent to provoke ire in FAWU, its workers and Hout Bay residents when trying to economically consolidate fishmeal processing capacity and raise R1.2bn as part of a R4.6bn+ investment to empower the USA pelagic fisheries economy in Louisiana – strait talk on Friday no more cods-wallop, Yes !

  91. Chele

    I find it very suspect that they only let the very bad smell out in middle of the night. I have a cough and scratchy eyes.

  92. Gill Wells

    I have lived in Hout Bay for more than 35 years and am appalled at the increasingly offensive stench coming from the Oceana Fish Factory. Something must be done about it before Hout Bay looses the wonderful reputation it has acquired to be a place to come and stay and relax. I do not own a guest house, but know many people who do, and guests book out as soon as they encounter the putrid smell.

  93. Bev Stevens

    I can smell this all the way up to Meadows. The City is a disgrace. When are they planning to do something.

  94. Charmaine Wessels

    We need to do whatever necessary to ensure Oceana take responsibility for creating a “Nuisance” as well “Health Issues” in our community. Many residents in Hout Bay have grown tired of this “endless” fight against Oceana. We need to stand together as a community, and keep pushing Oceana. Not to close down the factory, but to install all the necessary equipment. To ensure that we the community may live in a clean, healthy environment!

  95. Shane

    been awake since 3am in this suffocating stench… I have a headache am nauseous and my stomach feels twisted… I need to go to work in a couple of hours… It’s just gone 5am … Right now my mission is to track down the people responsible for this factory…. and kill them

  96. Helena Scheibe

    The stench is getting worse year by year! I have been here for 34 years and I support the drive to fresh air in Hout Bay.

  97. elaine Connell

    I cannot understand how in 2015 a business cannot be held accountable for polluting the air. I understand they think they are compliant with regulations but has anyone actually taken readings of what is being emitted?

    1. Annie Oliveira

      The stench is so repulsive that it’s now a pleasure to get away from our beautiful Hout Bay as often as possible. It’s been night and day for the past week, causing head aches and definite loss of appetite. Certainly not conducive to eating at local restaurants. I cannot understand how this is allowed to continue.

  98. Liana Lazzarotto

    Is 19 years that I have to breaht this polluted air… and the smell wake me up at night! is just to horrible!! If they use the right filters could be different….but not always …. I hope that if we are all together we can fix this condition….I’m so grateful that something happen now!… Best regards, Liana.

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