We will closely monitor fracking in Karoo – Agri SA

Organisation appreciate assurances that legal measures will be put in place but adds that they will insist on compensation if damage occurs

Agri SA reserves rights with respect to shale gas development

31 March 2017

“We took note of the minister Zwane, minister of mineral resources announcement yesterday according to which shale gas development is about to commence in the Karoo region, says Johannes Möller, president of Agri SA. He said that the minister indicated that on balance of scientific evidence the government decided to proceed, which in actual fact means that there is no complete certainty on the possible impact and ramifications of these mining activities”.

“Although we are fully aware of our country's international commitments towards carbon reduction and cleaner air we are not convinced that this cannot be achieved through other means, e.g. wind farms especially, since costs in this regard have decreased significantly in recent times. Also, we are fully aware of the need for economic development we cannot lend our unqualified support to unchartered territory, which fracking entails in South Africa more so because of uncertainties that still exist with respect to the impact these activities may have on the limited water resources in the Karoo area”.

Möller said that Agri SA appreciates the minister’s assurances that all legal measures will be put in place and applied to make fracking a viable and sustainable option. "We as an organization however owes it to our constituency to closely monitor the particular activities. If damage of whatever kind occurs, we will insist on justifiable and fair compensation and we urge government to even at this early stage consult on guidelines in this regard.  Agri SA will, if the need becomes evident, consider appointing environmental specialists to monitor activities even during the exploration phase, which now apparently is about to commence”.

Issued by Johannes Möller, President Agri SA, 31 March 2017