The support we have received locally and internationally since the government lifted the moratorium on fracking in South Africa on Friday 7 September 2012 has been overwhelming. It is clear that there is widespread abhorrence to this environmentally harmful, potentially polluting form of mining.
The harm done by fracking is potentially irreversible. It has a negative impact on the environment, affects the health of local communities, and does not deliver sustainably on the promises of job creation, community upliftment and energy provision as claimed by mining companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell, who – despite their overt concern with ‘what is good for SA’ – are only keen on growing profit.
Locally, TKAG is part of a strategic alliance of established NGOs, including KZN-based African Conservation Trust. TKAG has also received a vote of support from the Southern Cape Land Committee (SCLC), which is a local organisation representing the interests of rural communities. They have been independently outspoken about their opposition to fracking in South Africa.
Fracking opponents in South Africa are planning a national demonstration in front of Parliament on Saturday 22 September – Global Anti-Fracking Day.
The South African Cabinet announced on Friday that it had decided to lift the moratorium on fracking in the Karoo. The moratorium was endorsed by the SA cabinet in April 2011, followed by the appointment of a task team by Minister Shabangu with the purpose of investigating fracking. She announced that the task team would focus on the feasibility of fracking as well as its likely impact on the environment.
Since that time the task team has met in total secrecy and consistently refused to make its composition or findings public. On Friday, 7 September, Cabinet also apparently requested the mineral resources minister to ‘hold a series of public consultations with interested and
affected stakeholders to provide further details’.
Meanwhile, the Treasure Karoo Action Group has pledged to take the fight to oppose fracking in South Africa to the Constitutional Court.
In addition, the internationally critical reputation of fracking, and the rejection of the destructive polluting technology by tens of millions of people in other countries has never been dealt with by our government (despite formal notification of these facts to our cabinet by TKAG) nor by any of the applicants to mine for shale gas in South Africa.
We do not have to sacrifice our health, well-being and environment in the short term to line the pockets of foreign oil companies.
We simply cannot allow this threat to our water resources, our environment and the health of our communities to be carried out. We will take this fight to the highest court.
Chairman, Treasure Karoo Action Group
For background on the fracking debate, see:
What the frack is going on in the Karoo?
Stop fracking with our Karoo