Activists protest over Standard Bank’s potential backing of East Africa oil pipeline
Cape Town - A visual demonstration was held outside the Standard Bank Thibault Square branch in Cape Town’s CBD over the weekend, in protest against the bank’s potential financial backing of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Extinction Rebellion (XR) Cape Town participated in the international #StopEACOP campaign on Saturday.
EACOP is a 1 445km pipeline that will transport crude oil from Kabale, Uganda, to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port in Tanzania.
Major banks and financial institutions are funding the $3.5 billion project (about R53.7bn). The project will be the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world.
350 Africa.org SA team leader Glen Tyler-Davies joined the demonstration.
“It's our responsibility as South Africans to make sure that our finance organisations like Standard Bank don’t finance these projects. It’s great that they want to fund development in Africa, but there are better ways to do development. There are ways that can actually help people on the ground in Africa, as opposed to this pipeline that is just going to take Africa’s wealth, the oil, and ship it out to other areas,” he said.
XR protesters dressed in all-black garb to symbolise the death, destruction and displacement of communities and wildlife that will come with construction of the pipeline.
Judy Scott-Goldman from Simon’s Town said: “Standard Bank has signed the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, and SA is a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement, which means that we are trying to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees centigrade, and so we shouldn’t be funding new oil projects, because that project will produce so many tons of carbon dioxide that we can't afford to add to the atmosphere.”
Anne Duncan from Clovelly said: “This pipeline is going to devastate the livelihoods and the lives of so many ordinary farmers, fishermen and fisherwomen in East Africa, as well as devastating the incredibly precious and beautiful wildlife. There are so few areas left in the world where wildlife can roam, and this pipeline will cut into migration routes. There’s going to be so much loss of life, and we don’t need it. We are on a path to devastation, and this investment is just going to increase that.”