Lobbyists take fracking fight to protector

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Copy of Copy of ST mug Thuli INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Public Protector Thuli Madonsela File photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Kimberley - Anti-fracking lobbyists have taken their fight to the Public Protector in an attempt to get the government to reinstate the moratorium on activities related to the search for shale gas in the Karoo basin.

Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) CEO, Jonathan Deal, on Tuesday said the group had decided to do this as President Jacob Zuma had failed to respond to its July 21 letter calling on him to reinstate the moratorium on shale gas mining.

In line with its promise to approach the Public Protector, TKAG on Tuesday confirmed that it would be submitting a written complaint to the Public Protector.

“We appealed to President Zuma in an effort to ensure that any decision on shale gas by our government is lawfully exercised and in line with the Constitutional Rights of South Africans,” Deal said.

“Our research on fracking over almost four years indicates that there are unresolved issues in science and law that require proper action by our government before fracking can be presented to South Africa as a fait accompli and an economic ‘game-changer’. These issues were carefully detailed in our letter to Mr Zuma.”

Deal added that he was unhappy that the Presidency had not even acknowledged TKAG’s letter.

“It appears that government intends to ignore its critics even when there is very good reason to afford the message serious consideration in the interests of this country,” he said.

Head of Environmental Affairs at AfriForum, Julius Kleynhans, added that fracking in the sensitive Karoo posed significant risks which emphasised the importance of proper, informed decision-making guided by comprehensive scientific input.

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