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Mantashe to fast-track shale-gas exploration application

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says exploiting South Africa’s shale gas reserves could transform the country’s energy economy.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says applications for shale-gas exploration rights in the Karoo are to be fast-tracked.

Mantashe’s told Parliament that PetroSA has reported that some 205 trillion cubic feet of shale gas are believed to be “technically recoverable” by fracking in the southern Main Karoo basin.

Mantashe says exploiting South Africa’s shale gas reserves could transform the country’s energy economy.

“To that end, we intend to move with speed and to fast-track the finalisation of Exploration Rights applications so that South Africa can maximise its chances of reaping the benefits from shale gas exploration and exploitation.”

Mantashe says his department has received three shale-gas exploration rights applications, so far.

He says he will shortly publish a notice in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, to invite comment from those who may be quote “materially and adversely affected”.

Mantashe was delivering his maiden speech in Parliament in support of his department’s R1,9 billion budget.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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