No fracking ‘victory’

2016-09-20 09:28
Environmentalists still concerned despite deduction in KZN search area.

Environmentalists still concerned despite deduction in KZN search area. (Graphics24)

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

Pietermaritzburg - Rhino Oil and Gas has reduced the area it wants to explore for oil and gas in KwaZulu-Natal, but farming and environmental organisations say this is in no way a “victory”.

The reduced exploration area was announced by SLR Consultants in Rhino’s Environmental Impact Report (EIA) report last week.

The first application concerned areas totalling around 1.5 million hectares in KZN, encompassing over 10 000 properties, including farms, in Nqutu, Glencoe, Dundee, Kliprivier, Babanango, Nkandla, Msinga, Estcourt, Weenen, Mvoti, Mooi River, Lions River, Pietermaritzburg, Impendle, New Hanover, Richmond and Ixopo.

The area has now been reduced to 850 000 hectares, covering around 6 700 properties.

“The reduction of land size is purely a cost issue and has nothing to do with goodwill on the part of the company,” said Saliem Fakir, policy and future planning head of World Wide Fund SA (WWF SA).

The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu), WWF SA and Frack Free SA have said there should be no oil and gas exploration in the country at all.

The EIA report said that Rhino Oil and Gas no longer plans to do ground-based core hole drilling and seismic surveys, for which they were initially seeking environmental authorisation.

The application also now proposes that the analysis be conducted by using existing data and an aerial full tensor gradiometry gravity survey.

Aircraft can survey the land from 80m-300m above ground and will be able to show oil and gas reserves, which could later lead to ground-based drilling if approved.

Fakir said the general sentiment of communities in the affected areas was that there should be no oil and gas exploration — whether fracking was envisaged or not.

“We think Rhino Oil and Gas is wasting their time, and even though the exploratory phase is broken into non-intrusive surveys with a possibility of intrusive surveys in the future — subject to a new application — the underlying concerns will remain,” he said.

Kwanalu director Sandy la Marque said fracking, should it be approved, would require large amounts of water from a province that was suffering from a “crippling drought”.

“How can we see exploration as an option when we don’t even have security of food or water supply, especially considering the risks to the agricultural sector?

“We fear that irrespective of communities’ opposition for whatever valid reasons, if these companies believe that money is to be made, their concerns and opposition will be ignored,” La Marque said.

Rhino Oil and Gas did not comment by the time of going to print.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  environment  |  fracking

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.