Fracking a game changer for Karoo - Zuma

2013-11-29 22:08
Karoo grandeur. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Karoo grandeur. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The discovery of shale gas in the Karoo creates possibilities for growth and economic development in the Northern Cape, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"We are extremely excited about the prospect, because as government we consider hydraulic fracturing for shale gas a 'game-change' opportunity for the Karoo region and for our economy at large," he said at the launch of the Kalagadi Manganese company's Stanley Nkosi sinter mine.

"We must explore this potential," Zuma said.

He said the government was aware of concerns raised about hydraulic fracturing, including the issues of its affect on the province's water and environment.

"The mineral resources minister [Susan Shabangu] will therefore be coming back to this area early next year to consult with communities, and to hear what the people have to say, before any further decisions are taken by government on this matter."

Fracking is the process of fracturing rock by pumping pressurised liquid deep into the ground to extract natural gas trapped in shale layers.

A year ago, Cabinet agreed to lift a moratorium on applications to explore for shale gas in the Karoo using fracking.

The decision was based on recommendations contained in a report on shale gas exploration prepared by a technical task team, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said last September.

Shale gas exploration

In August, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said government could authorise shale gas exploration before next year's elections.

At the time, the Alliance Against Fracking in SA said it believed the country's laws were "inadequate to control an industry with a severely tarnished reputation and the process of fracking".

Treasure Karoo Action Group chair Jonathan Deal added that the government had largely relied on research commissioned by the mineral resources department to investigate the potential consequences of fracking.

"... In our considered view [this research] is singularly inadequate, considering the multi-disciplinary nature of mining activity," he said.

The sinter mine, which is based in the town Hotazel, is named after Stanley Nkosi and Thembeka Moedi, from Batlharos, Kuruman.

"They are the ones who were part of the team that cultivated the ground on which this imposing infrastructure stands. We ought to pay homage to such selfless citizens of our country. Indeed, they make South Africa a great place to live in," Zuma said.

He said the two died before the mine was completed.

Zuma said R6.5bn of capital had been injected into the province in the past four years, with at least 3000 direct jobs created.

"Also, the project has had an impressive safety record with more than 10 million man-hours without a fatality. This deserves to be emulated," he said.

Read more on:    susan shabangu  |  collins chabane  |  rob davies  |  jacob zuma  |  george  |  fracking

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.