Johannesburg - The DA will scrutinise the technical regulations on petroleum exploration and exploitation, which include shale gas, the party said on Thursday.
The regulations were gazetted on Wednesday by Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.
“The DA maintains that in order for fracking (shale gas extraction) to go ahead it must be done in line with a proper charter with stringent control measures and penalties for transgressions in order to ensure compliance,” DA MP James Lorimer said in a statement.
“The DA will fully scrutinise these regulations with the hopes they will contain an adequate balance between what is right for the environment and what is right for thousands of unemployed people who could benefit from fracking.”
Shabangu said on Thursday the proposed regulations prescribed good international petroleum industry practices and standards, which enhanced safe exploration and production of all petroleum including, but not limited to, shale gas. It would further ensure that petroleum exploration was conducted in a socially and environmentally balanced manner.
The regulations would be gazetted for 30 days for public comment.
Lorimer said some of the guidelines the DA hoped to see included in the technical regulations were fracking done in accordance with land use planning by local and provincial authorities; that shafts were set at an agreed distance from agricultural and commercial buildings and worksites; and that water exiting drill shafts was collected and cleaned so as not to pollute surface or ground water.