Shabangu defends fracking decision

Mineral Resources Minister defends decision to go ahead with the fracking of shale gas in the Karoo.

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu defended the state's decision to lift a moratorium on the exploration for shale gas in the Karoo on Tuesday during a parliamentary debate on the issue.

While answering questions in the National Assembly, Shabangu said she was aware the issue had been divisive.

"I am sure, even as we took the decision which we mark in this statement today, those divisions have not disappeared."

However, she added fracking isn't all bad.

"The hydraulic fracturing technique has been in use in the traditional oil and gas industry for more than 50 years, and in the last 20 years, together with the practice of directional drilling."

The Freedom Front Plus' Anton Alberts queried Shabangu's insistence that the potential economic benefits of shale gas mining are huge.

"Noting that the African National Congress (ANC) already has numerous connected to it, ready to jump at the economic opportunity fracking brings makes one wonder if this option is truly designed to benefit all South Africans."