Carien du Plessis

2012-11-26 00:00

THE DA has dropped a motion on fracking after the issue caused a heated debate in its congress in Boksburg over the weekend.

Before lunch yesterday the party adopted a motion with a clear majority saying it is in favour of fracking because it could boost job creation and development, but on condition that it was done responsibly and safely.

But after an objection by some delegates that the debate was complicated and there was no clarity on what the party was voting on, the motion was dropped altogether and the party reverted to the position taken by its parliamentary caucus, which is to oppose fracking. The motion saying the DA is “opposed to the process of hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo” until and unless certain conditions were met was proposed by the Camdeboo caucus in the Eastern Cape.

Western Cape MEC Robin Carlisle, however, suggested a change to wording to make the motion seem more “positive”, saying the DA supports fracking but with a long list of conditions.

“Shale gas is one of the safest and cleanest energy source,” he said.

Fracking is done to explore for shale gas but its opponents say it could cause irreversible damage to water sources and the environment if done incorrectly.

Changes to the motion were also supported by MPs Donald Smiles and James Lorimer, who said there were huge reserves of gas in the Karoo and that there was potential for job creation and employment.

Delegates then voted in favour of this motion.

After lunch time an attempt was made to clarify the wording of the motion, but eventually delegates voted in favour of dropping the motion altogether.

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