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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Transparency

Access to Environmental Licences for Gas Projects

On 28 September 2022, the Centre for Environmental Rights submitted a Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) request to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) requesting copies of Rights Applications, Exploration and Production Rights with any conditions attached, Environmental Authorisations and technical cooperations issued for onshore gas activities.

The request referred to the projects reflected in the South Africa Gas Master Plan: Basecase Report (Table A-2 (Onshore Natural Gas)) of but also included Rights that may not have been referred to in Table A-2 but that have been issued by PASA (or where the applications for such Rights have been accepted by PASA).

The PAIA request was acknowledged by PASA on 30 September 2022. After several follow-ups from the Centre for Environmental Rights, PASA provided some of the documents that were requested. Noticeably missing were the Environmental Authorisations that had been requested.

Between September 2022 and December 2023, CER actively pursued its request for copies of environmental authorisations issued to gas companies for onshore gas activities. A chronology of these efforts can be seen here. As at December 2023, PASA has failed and/or neglected and/or refused to furnish any of the environmental authorisations issued to gas companies for onshore gas activities. It has equally failed and/or neglected and/ or refused to give any reason therefore.