Shale gas exploration should not be “rushed through” ahead of next year's general election, a joint statement by Afriforum and the Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) said on Friday.
“Government is selling votes with this move, but it is an empty promise,” said Afriforum's environmental affairs head Julius Kleynhans.
“Even if government issues the licences, exploration cannot legally proceed. We will not allow our constitutional rights to be breached.”
The TKAG agreed.
“We believe that such a decision will have an impact which will endure far beyond the election cycle of the government,” said TKAG chairman Jonathan Deal.
“This decision cannot be rushed through before next year's election. It will be completely irresponsible.”
On Thursday, Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies said government could authorise shale gas exploration before next year's election.
“We want to move before the end of this administration...We need to advance the work on taking a decision on shale gas exploration,” he said at a briefing.
Davies said Cabinet believed shale gas could be a vital component in South Africa's quest for energy security. -Sapa