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AfriForum and TKAG weigh in on shale gas regulations

AfriForum and Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) have submitted formal comment to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on the new draft regulations regarding shale gas drilling.

The DWS was also notified by AfriForum of an irregularity regarding an extension of the comment period, requesting that the comment period should be reinstated with a minimum of a 60-day period as per best practice in affairs of this nature.

AfriForum’s Manager of Environmental Affairs, Lambert de Klerk, said that the civil rights organisation and its long-standing environmental partner, TKAG, would continue their opposition to shale gas drilling in the Karoo.

“These new draft regulations, and the process of shale gas mining which they would underpin, basically threatens water, rather than protecting it – and in our view works against the mandate and duty of the DWS – which is to safeguard South Africa’s water resources. In our formal comment as read with the technical concerns raised by the TKAG, we have submitted that the proposed water use regulations should be withdrawn in their entirety,” stated De Klerk.

Jonathan Deal, CEO of TKAG said that the group had a track record of success in dealing with the government on the regulations, the most recent being a unanimous decision in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) against the Department of Minerals. “In our view, to float a set of technical regulations with a 30-day window for public comment is short-sighted. To do it in the middle of a State of Disaster, with more lockdown regulations looming, displays at best a careless arrogance around proper public consultation and as AfriForum has said it appears to ignore the duty of the DWS to safeguard precious water resources.”

De Klerk encouraged concerned citizens to stand up for their right to a clean and healthy environment by signing AfriForum’s petition against all fracking: https://afriforum.co.za/petisie-teen-hidrobreking-fracking-2/

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