SCA rules in favour of halting exploration for petroleum in Karoo

The court ruled the mineral resources minister does not have the authority to make regulations for petroleum exploration and production.

Karoo fracking. Picture: supplied

CAPE TOWN - The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled on Thursday in favour of an application to halt shale gas exploration in the Karoo.

The court ruled the mineral resources minister did not have the authority to make regulations for petroleum exploration and production.

The application was filed by civil rights group AfriForum and anti-fracking organisation, the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG).

AfriForum’s Morne Mostert said a proper public participation process would now have to be started.

“What should happen now is that the whole process of drafting regulations should start anew. We are willing stakeholders and we will be aptly ready to discuss the different mechanism to work with the different departments.”

The TKAG’s CEO Jonathan Deal said: “It’s really an environmental victory and not just on a limited scale but it shows that the courts are paying attention to the environment and what the ramifications of this type of technology are.”