Organisations and communities across South Africa and internationally, are coalescing to oppose shale gas mining (fracking). Ms. Jeanie Le Roux, director of Operations at TKAG stated that “International and local debate surrounding the controversial technology has revealed that there is and alternate view to what Royal Dutch Shell has been telling South Africans.” A recent gathering of lobby groups, academics, civic and faith-based organizations conferred in Steytlerville, in Eastern Cape, to discuss fracking. The dialogue, organized by the Southern Cape Land Committee, produced a resolution to strengthen the voice of local communities who are expected to bear the brunt of the impact of fracking.

TKAG has this week, been informed that a national conference of the Khoi people of South Africa held in Graaff-Reinet at the end of June, delivered a resolution opposing shale gas mining in South Africa. It is expected that this will be confirmed by the Khoi people in national media in due course.

Commenting on the transformation of leadership in TKAG, Le Roux announced that Pastor Barry Wuganaale, an international activist and faith leader would assume Chairmanship of TKAG, supported by Mr. Daantjie Japhta, ex mayor and resident of Graaff-Reinet in the position of Vice Chair. Current chairman, Jonathan Deal has been appointed as Chief Executive. “We welcome Pastor Wuganaale and Mr. Japhta to our team and have great confidence in their ability to advance the objectives of a new, national alliance against shale gas mining,” she said.

Turning to statements made by Minister Shabangu, and the chairperson of the ANC Economic Transformation Committee - Enoch Godongwana, TKAG said “The government is, in our view, ill-equipped, to run ahead of the complex and dynamic process, and the public consultation that must precede the decision to licence – or not licence fracking in South Africa. Mr Godongwana’s reference to the governmental task team report and gas estimates are premature. High-ranking government officials should know better than to make wildly inaccurate statements when dealing with issues of this complexity, scale and magnitude. It is unthinkable that individuals in government can commit South Africa to this decision. TKAG is fully prepared, with the valuable support and commitment of Afriforum to drive this issue to the Constitutional Court.”

“There are significant, credible, unresolved questions surrounding shale gas mining in South Africa, which point to a need for robust research before reaching a conclusion on shale gas.”

Le Roux said that TKAG is ideally placed to develop a broad platform on which historically diverse interests and groups can unite against shale gas mining in South Africa. “We have firm commitments from groups across the social, environmental and agricultural spectrum to join in a determined opposition.”

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