Fracking trumps constitutional rights – AfriForum

Organisation says Dept of Mineral Resources failed to perform a complete environmental impact study

Fracking trumps constitutional rights

1 July 2016 

AfriForum and Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG), collectively known as the Alliance, are of the opinion that the allocation of exploitation permits by Government is thoughtless and irresponsible. This follows after the most recent issuing of these permits that will enable companies to exploit shale gas by means of fracking. Due to Government, this process is also starting to spread wider than the Karoo, where the Alliance has been fighting fracking over the last couple of years.   

The Alliance has already placed the Department of Mineral Resources on terms and served court papers on them regarding the incomplete legislation and regulations with regards to petroleum exploitation and production that need to put in place safety standards for sustainable environmental management and protection.

“The Department failed to perform a complete environmental impact study before the permits, and the subsequent licenses, were issued. A scientific process needs to take place at all times during which a proper environmental impact study is completed that clearly identifies all risks. This study furthermore enables the legislator to put in place regulations that will protect the constitutional rights of South Africans,” says Lambert de Klerk, AfriForum’s Assistant Coordinator.    

Jonathan Deal, CEO of TKAG, says that the Alliance already warned during the start of its anti-fracking campaign in 2011 that fracking will not stay in the Karoo only as stated by Government at the time, but would later also become a national problem. 

The Alliance urges all communities that are located outside the affected provinces to also express their displeasure with this issue by sending an email to De Klerk at[email protected]. According to the Alliance, the regulations currently being followed were compiled poorly and are insufficient. 

AfriForum requested the companies involved to supply answers to the civil rights organisation regarding the sustainability of job creation after fracking took place as well as where the water masses will come from that are needed to operate these activities.  

“Studies indicate that water used in the fracking process is mostly unrecyclable and that the chemicals being used are detrimental to both humans and the environment,” says De Klerk.

AfriForum already registered as an affected party in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State in areas where Government is considering fracking. Part of this process is also to find new alliance partners.

Issued by Lambert de Klerk, Assistant Coordinator, AfriForum, 1 July 2016