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Govt. pushes for fracking in Karoo

Government wants shale gas exploration in the Karoo underway before next year’s elections.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Brit secretary business innovation Vince Cable address the media on 11 October 2012. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies on Thursday said government wants shale gas exploration in the Karoo to start before the 2014 general elections.

Davies said South Africa's energy constraints are putting the brakes on economic growth.

At its lekgotla earlier this month, Cabinet decided to speed up a range of initiatives aimed at boosting the economy.

The minister said the government wants shale gas exploration underway before this administration's term ends.

"We must act immediately and take steps to resolve the energy constraint in our economy."

But the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG)'s CEO Jonathan Deal has accused the government of acting in bad faith.

"There has been no proper public participation," said Deal.

He said the group would appeal the move and go to court if necessary.