South African Portfolio Committee Asks for Fracking Report

Pretoria - The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has expressed the need to have a comprehensive report as well as relevant legislations regarding Hydraulic Fracturing (also known as Fracking) in South Africa.

“This information will empower us to understand all the nitty-gritty aspects that are involved in exploration of shale gas and will also provide us with the opportunity to discharge our oversight mandate effectively,” Committee Chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said.

He was speaking during a meeting on Wednesday, in which the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) together with the Petroleum Agency SA (PASA) briefed the Committee on progress regarding the Regulatory Framework Policy changes and the future of shale gas industry.

Parliamentary Communication Services spokesperson Justice Molafo said the committee tasked the department to submit the report as it prepares to process applications for the rights of exploration of shale gas in the Karoo.

The applications came from three companies - namely Bundu Oil and Gas, Falcon Oil and Gas, and Shell BV Explorations.

Molafo said although the committee raised concern about the level of public consultation conducted by the department, it also welcomed the policy which was ready to be gazetted soon.

“The Committee further agreed to request a joint meeting with other concerned Portfolio Committees including Water and Sanitation, and Environmental Affairs in order to develop modalities for effective oversight on matters of common interest,” he said.