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Karoo Fracking: PASA requested to ensure further consultation with poor communities

25 August 2011 at 2:43 pm

On 12 August 2011, the Centre for Environmental Rights reported to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa on the findings and recommendations of the joint CER/WESSA Community Workshop Series held in 17 towns across the Karoo in June 2011.

In its letter, and based on its assessment during the Workshop Series the CER expressed its grave concern that affected communities from these extremely impoverished parts of the Karoo are being excluded from this process, in violation of their environmental rights and rights to administrative justice under the Constitution.

Urgent recommendations made to PASA included:

  • that, before PASA makes a recommendation to the Minister of Mineral Resources on a decision on the Shell EMP, it requires additional consultation with disadvantaged communities in the Karoo;
  • that, as requested in the CER’s letter of 30 May 2011, PASA directs the applicants for shale gas to fund the production of a simple brochure to inform communities of the proposal and its potential impacts; and
  • that, in any event, PASA takes into account and communicates to the Minister in its recommendations the views of communities as expressed in comment sheets collected at the workshops and delivered to PASA and Golder Associates.

A copy of the CER’s letter to PASA can be downloaded here.

Also download the full media statement on the workshops, including a list of comments and concerns from communities for and against fracking, and CER’s letter to PASA here.

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Section 24of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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