ANC 'exploiting fracking' for election

2014-04-10 16:30
Gwede Mantashe (Picture: Sapa)

Gwede Mantashe (Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - ANC secretary general Gwede Msntashe has been accused of using fracking as an election ploy.

The Anti-Fracking Alliance, Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) and AfriForum said in a statement on Thursday that Mantashe's views on shale gas as a source of energy were inaccurate.

"They reflect the desperation of the ANC to gather votes at the last minute."

According to Jonathan Deal, CEO of TKAG, it is untrue that only through fracking in the Karoo [and most of South Africa] the country's energy needs can be met.

"There are immediate and viable solutions to the country's energy needs that can come on-stream long before the 12-year timescale of uncertain Karoo gas reserves and without the risk to sustainable jobs in agriculture and tourism, and the documented risk to water."

Deal said that the broad claim that "the US and Canada are doing well in that area" belies the facts that shale gas mining is failing to perform economically according to the claims of its proponents in those countries.

The group said the ANC had consistently ignored the global popular and science-based opposition to the technology in those countries and elsewhere.
Julius Kleynhans, AfriForum head of Environmental Affairs, labelled the ANC's push for fracking as propaganda to implement projects without making proper informed decisions based on science.

"We have expressed our concerns on countless occasions and have openly proposed a public debate on the topic, but it is clear that there’s a lack of political will to consider responsible and sustainable development in South Africa," said Kleynhans.
During a visit to SA in March, Sir David King, Special Representative on Climate Change to the UK Government and previous Chief Scientific Advisor to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, stated that fracking should not be considered in a water-scarce country such as SA.

He pointed instead, the statement said, to the massive opportunity for wealth creation in SA presented by renewable energy technologies.

At least 33 South African political parties will contest the national general elections on 7 May and the ruling ANC has come under pressure over a number of issues, including e-tolls in Gauteng, spending on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead and a perception of patronage and corruption within state institutions.
Read more on:    anc  |  tkag  |  fracking  |  environment

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