Lobby group to take further action if govt continues with fracking plan

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane announced last week that fracking will go ahead in the Karoo.

FILE: Protesters gather outside Parliament to show their opposition to the governments decision to lift a moratorium on shale-gas exploration in the Karoo. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Treasure Karoo Action Group says it will take further legal steps against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane if government persists with plans to allow shale gas exploration.

Zwane announced last week fracking will go ahead in the Karoo.

Government is already involved in a pending legal tussle with the lobby group in the North Gauteng High Court.

Zwane says government's decision to allow fracking is based on the balance of available scientific information and steps have been taken to alleviate any risks associated with shale gas development.

But the Treasure Karoo Action Group's Jonathan Deal says the regulations for shale gas exploration published by the minister are inadequate and the findings of two key South African scientific reports have been ignored.

“Based on the evidence we've put forward and particularly the reports of South African scientists and South African conditions, we fail to see how the court is going to find those regulations suitable and appropriate for regulating something like shale gas mining.”

Deal expects the matter to be heard in court within the next two months and says if the regulations are set aside, no exploration or mining will be allowed until new, more appropriate regulations are drafted.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)