Government halts Karoo fracking licensing

VALLEY OF DELINQUENCY, a charcoal and pastel on paper work by Port Elizabeth artist Duncan Stewart, suggesting what the Karoo could look like if Shell's application to mine for natural gas is approved.

Originally published in Eyewitness News

The South African Cabinet today ( Thursday, April 21) announced that it will endorse a decision by the Department of Minerals to invoke a moratorium on fracking licences in the Karoo.

The department will now lead a multi-disciplinary team to fully research the implications of the practice.

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used for extracting shale gas from deep underground by pumping a pressurised mixture of water, sand and chemicals down drill holes.

Shell’s proposal to drill in the Karoo has been widely condemned.

The Treasure the Karoo Action Group called on government to impose an immediate halt to the company’s application for exploration rights.

Cabinet said it has made it very clear that a clean environment will not be compromised.

The group’s Jonathan Deal said, “There are currently no licences for fracking in this country, not even for exploration to do with fracking. We have been… opposing that since January together with a lot of the other NGOs in this country.”

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