Shell South Africa country chairperson Hloniphizwe Mtolo will meet with civil rights and environmental protection organisations AfriForum and Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) to discuss environmental, legal and economic concerns over fracking.
The groups received an official commitment from Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden following an open letter addressed to Shell, Bundu Gas and Oil, Sunset Oil and Gas, Rhino Oil and Gas, Falcon Oil and Gas and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
AfriForum head of environmental affairs Marcus Pawson noted that, other than Shell, none of the other international companies had taken the time to respond to AfriForum and the TKAG’s concerns over fracking.
TKAG CEO Jonathan Deal emphasised that fracking remained water intensive and that the pollution involved was dangerous to the health of surrounding communities.
“It doesn’t make economic sense as South Africa can source the gas elsewhere at much lower costs and without any of the risks posed to underground water, farming and tourism.
“It’s a non-starter and appears to be pushed by those who want to and will indeed make a lot of money in the short term at a great cost to the environment and local communities.”
AfriForum and TKAG invited representatives from other organisations who wish to attend the meeting with Shell South Africa’s leadership to join the discussions.
Community members can support the antifracking campaign by sending an SMS with the word “fracking” to 45354.