Jonathan Deal is chairman of the Treasure the Karoo Action Group(TKAG) giving a talk against the hydrauolic fracturing in the karoo at 6 Spin street restuarant. Picture: Courtney Africa

Cape Town - The Tresure the Karoo Action Group, which is opposed to fracking for shale gas, has warned the government to prepare for “a long and costly legal battle” that could go all the way to the Constitutional Court.

It expects the government to approve exploration licences soon, clearing the way for the probable use of this controversial extraction method in the Karoo, but says those likely to be most affected by fracking will fight back.

However, the group’s statement comes at the same time as its erstwhile legal representative, Havemann & Associates Incorporated, has instituted High Court action against its chairman, Jonathan Deal, pictured, for alleged non-payment of R424 195 in legal fees, which was incurred between June last year and June this year.

The group announced this week it had appointed a new legal team which would “bring fresh thinking and decades of experience to our approach at this critical time in our campaign”, but did not mention the summons.

The group also announced that it had concluded agreements with “like-minded opposition groups” to form a broad anti-fracking alliance.

Deal said that in the run-up to the government’s expected decision, the group was “refocusing our efforts to present a high-powered, well-prepared legal campaign which we believe will halt [Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu] in her tracks”.

The government’s recent climb-down over the Gauteng highway improvement road tolls was proof that ordinary people had had enough of its “riding rough-shod” over their will. - Cape Argus