Cabinet endorses fracking moratorium

2011-04-21 14:18

kalahari.com

Cape Town - The cabinet has endorsed the decision by the mineral resources department to invoke a moratorium on licences in the Karoo Basin where "fracking" is proposed.

"Fracking" is hydraulic fracturing, a technique for extracting shale gas from deep underground by pumping a pressurised mixture of water, sand and chemicals down drill holes.

The department would lead a multi-disciplinary team, including the trade and industry and science and technology departments, to research the full implications of the proposed fracking, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi told a media briefing following cabinet's regular fortnightly meeting.

"Cabinet has made it very clear that (a) clean environment together with all the ecological aspects will not be compromised," he said.

On Wednesday, it emerged that there was little chance that oil giant Shell's plans to prospect for shale gas in the Karoo using the "fracking" method would have an impact on South Africa's bid to host the square kilometre array (SKA) radio telescope.

In written reply to a question in the National Council of Provinces, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said an application for prospecting had no impact on South Africa's bid to host the SKA.

"An application can only have impact if granted," she said.

"If the Shell application is granted, and if Shell uses communication systems with frequency ranges that interfere with radio telescope operations, the prospecting will affect radio astronomy."

However, the South African SKA project office (SASPO) had proactively met with Shell and Golder Associates to indicate communications restrictions.

"All operations in the Karoo will be comprehensively addressed through regulations under the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act 2007, which are expected to be finalised in the 2012/13 financial year, following consideration of the outcomes of the public consultations on the astronomy regulations," Pandor said.

The act gives the sole right to regulate the zone in which the SKA will operate to the minister of science and technology.

South Africa and Australia were shortlisted in 2006 as locations for the SKA project.

The SKA will cost about €2bn to build, and require between €150m and €200m a year, for 50 years, to maintain and operate.

An announcement on who has won the bid will be made early next year.

The endorsement was welcomed by the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG).

"Cabinet clearly realised what other countries have realised - the issue of fracking is too complex to be decided on by one single authority or one single department."

A multi-disciplinary team should look at an issue of this magnitude.

"From our side, we will now make sure we cooperate with and give all the assistance we can to government as they make sure that every aspect of the environmental impact assessment is taken care of," TKAG said.   

Read more on:    jimmy manyi  |  naledi pandor  |  fracking
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.