Minister touts shale gas fracking

2012-05-17 22:18

Cape Town - The shale gas under the Karoo is a blessing from God, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters told MPs on Thursday.

Speaking at the end of debate on her department's budget vote in the National Assembly, she said it was Ascension Day, "when Jesus ascended to heaven to sit next to God".

Peters then suggested it would be wrong not to use hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, to exploit the resources God had left behind.

"It would be wrong for us to not use the resources that God left us with. This is a blessing that God gives us, and we need to exploit for the benefit of the people."

The people of the Karoo were "going hungry", she said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Peters told a media briefing at Parliament that if economical quantities of shale gas were proven to exist under the Karoo, "let us extract it".

She said it had to be extracted safely.

Cabinet is expected to receive a report on shale gas exploration in the Karoo by the end of July.

Peters told journalists on Wednesday: "It is my wish and prayer on a daily basis that when the report is tabled... it will say to us the gas is there, and you can extract it safely for the benefit of the people of South Africa."

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-05-17 22:26

    By the time the minister is finished the people will not only be hungry, but also thirsty. But all there will be to drink is contaminated water. Neither will the good people of the Karoo be any richer for fracking. Rather frack off

      Sean - 2012-05-17 23:12

      It`s because those guys in charge lack brain capacity !!

      Walter - 2012-05-18 05:54

      And he/she will be sitting on a pile of "back-hand" cash.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-18 06:44

      There will be a handful of very rich individuals. I think the minister may be in line for a share in the deal, hence praying so hard it goes through. His prayers have nothing to do with helping poor people, and if there is a god I'm convinced he is able to see through the lies.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-18 07:46

      Fresh off the press: Vermont gov. signs fracking ban into law Published: May 17 MONTPELIER, Vt., The governor of Vermont has signed a bill that bans hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract gas from underground deposits. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the fracking ban into law Wednesday afternoon, making Vermont the first state to ban the practice, the Burlington (Vt.) Free-Press reported.

      adrien.mcguire - 2012-05-18 08:39

      I smell a rat ! ...... and a huge pile of freshly minted R100 notes !

      Lize - 2012-05-18 10:27

      The water will not be contaminated. FACT. Go read up on this stuff before you make ignorant comments.

      Preshen - 2012-05-18 16:14

      You have to make money it’s the recession

  • Oneant - 2012-05-17 22:27

    ironic.. since the chemicals used to extract it is clearly from the devil...

  • KCorsar - 2012-05-17 22:46

    For benefit of the chosen few, no doubt! For the people be damned! So a safe environment isnt more important for future generations than the rishes to be plundered today. Go abd get Fracked!

  • joshua.michau - 2012-05-17 22:58

    I want to see that minister drink water from a borehole where they are fracking. I want to see her give the water to her children. How can someone use religious justification as a means to advocate an environmentally devestating practice? Are we running a church or a country? They should be building wind farms and solar projects. But anyway, you can't expect this government to do anything intelligent, the president was head of the Aids Council and said that merely taking a shower washed his aids away, so imagine the quality of intellectual thinking of his cabinet. Go Peters, you moronic waste of air.

  • Brad.Kopping - 2012-05-17 23:00

    Oh yes yes yes...god would have wanted us to f*** up this planet even more just so the ministers can get more money. Makes allloootttt of sense. idiot.s

  • Burt.Rabie - 2012-05-17 23:11

    Fraking idiot! How much did they pay her to support this?

  • Francisco - 2012-05-17 23:21

    South Africa is said to have the 5th largest reserve of shell gas. When oil reserves run dry, which it will at some point, South Africa can be placed at the fore front of world economics. There is the obvious caveat that extraction should be safe and equally as important is that this is left to the free market with no corrupt government intervention. If it can be safely done then why not use this resource. We do it with gold, diamonds and coal. I do however think there was no need to link it with religion.

  • koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-17 23:42

    You're flirting with disaster when you mix God with sangomas, witchcraft and ancestors. Be warned.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-18 07:42

      You are right Koos. Add Mammon to the mix and you have rich politicians and even poorer people in the Karoo.

  • Isabel - 2012-05-18 00:03

    The bible also says that we should care for the environment. She uses religion out of context and with no depth. Jeremiah 2:7 - I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. (NIV)

  • mario.dippenaar - 2012-05-18 00:05

    Oh no, I don't want the big scary machines drilling into the ground. Now, please excuse me while I drive around in my big SUV and complain about the petrol price being over R12. Oh? South Africa is facing an energy crisis that will affect 49 million people? Don't worry, just as long as both citizens of the Karoo can drink directly out of the tap, we should be ok.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-05-18 00:10

      I think you need to take a closer look, DroopyHooves. We need an alternative to fracking. It has been proven, over and over, to be a destructive and unstable method of drilling.

      mario.dippenaar - 2012-05-18 01:11

      @Tania We need solutions, today. Yes, fracking is dangerous and environmentally unkind, but so are coal mine (acid water, anyone?) and nuclear power. Also, I think it's a bit hypocritical for the "armchair warriors" and "slacktivists" to make a kneejerk reaction to this whole fracking debate, I mean, we want super cheap electricity to power our homes and industry, but we don't want to accept the grim, hard truth... That cheap energy is damn dirty. And just to be clear, I'm not anti environmental or pro big business, I'm just a guy who wants his lights burning in the foreseeable future.

      Koos - 2012-05-18 06:54

      Let me give you good advice. Buy candles.

      mikenortje - 2012-05-18 08:07

      The gas zone is way way way way below the water table, so there is as close to 0% as humanly possible that when the frack takes place that water will become contaminated. If SA goes ahead with fracking in the Karoo it will be one of the safest operations in the world. Conservative studies put the gas at 9 Trillion cubic kilometers of gas, enough to solve SA electicity problems for 70 to 100 years. Now how much will be stolen / corrupted / etc by the ANC I can't comment, but as a SA resource it is at present without an equal.

      BobbyM - 2012-05-18 08:54

      @mikenortje You realise that they have to drill through the water table to get to the gas don't you? You realise that the hole they drill is lined with a very thin lining which can be damaged and leak contaminants. Do you really want a multinational oil company profiting massively at our expense? @Derpyhooves Are you suggesting that because we have allowed destructive mining in the past that we should just allow more now? Maybe we should learn from our mistakes and be more cautious in our approach.

      Stirrer - 2012-05-18 10:57

      @DroopyBoobs, you are seriously screwed up. You condemn nuclear power, which is safe, clean and environmentally friendly, but you approve of fracking? Dunno where you got your info from, but you should go klap that person upside the head.

      mario.dippenaar - 2012-05-18 13:10

      Wow, I like the name calling, real mature. Anyway, I don't say nuclear power shouldn't be used (in fact, I like nuclear power) The point I was trying to make was that no method of energy generation is completely risk free or 100% environmentally friendly or financially sound. Thus, we should take calculated risks and from an utilitarian viewpoint fracking will benefit a large number of people and reduce South Africa's dependency on foreign oil imports. I can sympathize with the Karoo-inees (erm, someone from the Karoo?) I wouldn't what to live next to mining operation, however, if an big company where to compensate me, maybe I could move to another place that has shrubbery.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-05-19 02:46

      I live on a 29 hectare plot/farm offsides from PE. My closest neighbours are siblings. I am more than happy to put a a windmill or two on my property.I am sure my siblings would do the same. We have ample amounts of spekboom in the area - a great carbon harvester. We need help in converting 250 x 5kg (per day) of of cow dung into energy. Which will hopefully benefit us, and the rest of SA. Thus no armchair critic, Droopyhooves. We are also involved in a Working for Water project - getting rid of alien trees. So many business opportunities: so many people stuck in a rut, not thinking what we can do with all that wood. I can think of 10 small businesess filling the gap, without even trying. If only they could get support from government. Let's leave the gas there until the rest of the World is desperate for energy. It's a safeguard.

  • stanton.clarke - 2012-05-18 00:51

    I am scared out of my wits. Im thinking, more corruption , theft etc..., not about the benefits of the resource. Resources can be a curse, especially in Africa. God, please help us!

  • gavin.dandridge - 2012-05-18 00:54

    Was this a church sermon to the National Assembly?

  • Barry - 2012-05-18 01:06

    Problem is, they are clueless and only see what can be gained and ignore the risk and potential loss, even though it outweighs the minor gains...

  • The-Azanian - 2012-05-18 05:32

    indeed it is, lets get it out. Im tired of paying an arm and a leg for patroleum.

      Marina - 2012-05-20 00:22

      Unfortunately shale gas is not going to help the expensive petroleum situation, The-Azanain. Here is a reply from the Post Carbon Institute: "Natural gas is a depleting fossil fuel, and technology cannot change that fundamental fact. Natural gas will not substitute in any meaningful way for increasingly expensive oil, because very few vehicles currently are able to use natural gas and it will take decades to change that situation—and gas supplies won’t be sufficient even if we could retrofit existing vehicles fast enough. Moreover, the climate impact of producing and burning gas from shale deposits is no better than that of mining and burning coal—so the environmental argument for using more natural gas doesn’t hold up to scrutiny." (

  • jimi.harrison.7 - 2012-05-18 05:51

    Its time to replace her!!!! Fracking dosnt work! They tried it in Canada and Australia and it failed. What makes you think it will work here? With our corrupt government? They'll leave the karoo a mess!!! Shell will pay and the money will go into back pockets. They'll bring their people over so no jobs for us!!!!!

  • darryl.michel - 2012-05-18 05:52

    Is she fracking mad or something. She says the people in the Karoo are going hungry. They will bl**dy well go thirsty too if they allow fracking as it will destroy the water table and the wells will run dry.

  • Adam - 2012-05-18 06:19

    How many tenders would be involved?. Have the cadres got their BEE companies set up yet?. Cant we add av to cadres to turn them into cadavers?.

  • Johan - 2012-05-18 06:33

    I wonder how much in bribes is involved !

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-18 06:34

    The title should read" Minister has been bribed by oil company" I'm surprised it took so long... maybe he was negotiating his" package"

  • averil.knox - 2012-05-18 06:37

    The people in high places have obviously not done their homework or they have little comprehension of the after effects and long term damage fracking does to the environment and to man. Maybe their brains are addled by the ring of rand or Dollar signs. My Grade 10 class did an assignment on fracking and learners in the rural areas where we stay were shocked that our government were even considering it. Seems like they have more sense than our "honourable minister' and his/her cronies. It is lack of knowledge or greed that allows such things to happen.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-18 06:42

    Economic value overides all other values. I wonder how God will feel once the environment he gave us as a gift to live on, is totally destroyed by us. I fear he will have no mercy on us, and rightfully so.

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-18 06:48

    Vermont gov. signs fracking ban into law Published: May 17, 2012 at 1:57 PM MONTPELIER, Vt., May 17 (UPI) -- The governor of Vermont has signed a bill that bans hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract gas from underground deposits. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the fracking ban into law Wednesday afternoon, making Vermont the first state to ban the practice, the Burlington (Vt.) Free-Press reported.

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-18 06:49

    Vermont gov. signs fracking ban into law Published: May 17, 2012 at 1:57 PM MONTPELIER, Vt., May 17 (UPI) -- The governor of Vermont has signed a bill that bans hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract gas from underground deposits. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the fracking ban into law Wednesday afternoon, making Vermont the first state to ban the practice, the Burlington (Vt.) Free-Press reported.

  • braamc - 2012-05-18 06:50

    Leave god and Jesus out of plan of destruction. Can't off course wait for the bribes from evil

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-18 06:53

    Please read this Vermont gov. signs fracking ban into law Published: May 17, 2012 at 1:57 PM MONTPELIER, Vt., May 17 (UPI) -- The governor of Vermont has signed a bill that bans hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract gas from underground deposits. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the fracking ban into law Wednesday afternoon, making Vermont the first state to ban the practice, the Burlington (Vt.) Free-Press reported. Hydraulic fracturing is the practice of injecting water and chemicals under high pressure into underground shale to release natural gas. "We don't know that we don't have natural gas in Vermont," Shumlin said. "This bill will ensure we do not inject chemicals into groundwater in a desperate pursuit for energy." The bill also bans the importation and storage of waste water associated with fracking. While the anti-fracking movement has hailed the ban, a natural gas industry representative called it "poor policy." An American Petroleum Institute official wrote to Shumlin last week raising legal questions about the bill, numbered H.464. "We are informed that H. 464 may be subject to constitutional challenge under both the commerce clause and the supremacy clause," Rolf Hanson, senior director of state government relations for the American Petroleum Institute, said in the letter to Shumlin. However, Michael Duane, an assistant attorney general, said his office reviewed the bill and said, "we believe that the risk of H.464 being found unconstitutional is low." Duane said the bill does not interfere with interstate commerce laws, as the ban covers in-state and out-of-state natural gas companies equally and that as hydraulic fracturing wastes are not considered "hazardous wastes" by the federal government, federal supremacy is not an issue. Shumlin said the fracking ban is the latest in a list of legislation that makes Vermont a leader on environmental issues.

  • Marius Koen - 2012-05-18 07:13

    So they will only need to go thirsty because all the water will be useless. Silly woman.

  • James - 2012-05-18 07:15

    If the minister can believe in a supernatural sky fairy, without the teeny-weeniest scrap of evidence for her assumption; how can we trust her to make a rational decision about fracking? Faith is belief without evidence and is a serious brain malfunction! I thought our government was supposed to be secular.

  • amayoss - 2012-05-18 07:17

    Wonder how big the bribe is...

  • Henri James Christie - 2012-05-18 07:24

    First World countries like Canada and Australia among others have experienced the destruction caused by fracking, what is so difficult for our third world parliament to understand about this. If they have the technology to extract shale gas safely, sell it to the other countries and leave our Karroo alone

  • WessBergg - 2012-05-18 07:25

    Frack off you dumb frack - instead give every household in SA a solar geyser. The sun is also a gift which you should have been exploiting a long time ago. Stupid.....

      Ronald - 2012-05-18 08:26

      Government can not place a tax or surcharge on solar energy, thus no direct profit from it.

      WessBergg - 2012-05-18 09:15

      @Ronald - Yeah, it seems its all about the rock and paper and not about being able to breathe and eat and drink clean water. Selling their souls to the highest bidders. What the Frack is going on?

  • wian.marais - 2012-05-18 07:43

    Please go and review the Minister Dipuo's "qualification" within this field, which is suppose to give her a better understanding.... WHAT A JOKE! Link:

  • Stille - 2012-05-18 07:49

    Fracking useless female who clearly smoked too much of her own product. Loop Frack man

  • Erena - 2012-05-18 09:40

    BOICOT SHELL we are. Every drop helps. It’s the only way.

  • pjcbs - 2012-05-18 10:19

    Iwould love to know what the minister's qualifications are that enabkes her to make a decision on this.

  • Jackie - 2012-05-18 10:41

    Minister is it fair to give the people food put take away the little supply of water that the karoo sustain. It will eventially be a wasteland with all the chemicals they will pump in the ground with water and acids. It is really a bad idee. We will think highly of you if you think green and preserve the country for the kids and not think of the profit that's only short term. You are our leaders and you must protect us from other countries that want to abuse africa.

  • Judith - 2012-05-18 12:50

    Thank you Minister - you have sealed South Africa's death warrant. No food, no water and no air to breathe that is not fatally polluted

  • tracy.frayne - 2012-05-18 12:55

    Whaaaaaaaaat? *sigh*

  • Johannes - 2012-05-18 14:39

    What a shameful speech and comments, totally misinformed, it will not do us in the Karoo any good, it might line some pockets and provide some more BMW's, that's for sure. Go frack somewhere else, please.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-18 14:39

    LIZE; Please, rather don't say anything, low pressure (volume) fracking uses between 76 and 300 000 Liters of water per hole, High pressure (volume) fracking uses between 7.6 and 11 million Liters per bore hole. This is not pure water it is mixed with chemicals and sand shot, it is therefor impossible for anyone under any circumstances to claim that it does not contaminate the ground water, you are talking about putting thousands if not millions of liters of chemical agent into the ground, all of this enters the water table. Why don't you go do some reading, considering that the simple act of pouring your old engine oil onto the ground in your yard has the potential to pollute a thousand liters of ground water.

  • Dirk - 2012-05-18 22:05

    what a mindless speech . rather a talk rubbish about something she anyway have no idea and not the IQ to be able to

  • Kevin Avnon - 2012-05-19 14:56

    My teenager son has more brain than the Minister. Read this "Horizontal Fracking - Unacceptable Risks"

  • Matthew - 2012-05-20 12:51

    She says the people of the Karoo are going 'hungry', why doesnt she go to the Karoo and ask the people what they want. People aren't rich like I'm sure she is, but they sure are happy with the peace and tranquility they are living in. THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS, EITHER SHE IS LYING THROUGH HER TEETH OR SHE IS A COMPETE IGNORANT MORON! FRACK OFF!

  • Adil - 2012-05-20 23:58

    Which God is she talking about - MAMMON? If fracking for shale gas is really a blessing,why has Vermont just become the first American state to BAN fracking and is the British government now backtracking on fracking - saying it is not the solution they first thought it was? Having said that there will now be increased pressure by SHELL to drill in the Karoo because they won't be allowed to do it in Britain and the Netherlands.

  • ilsa.vanniekerk.9 - 2012-06-12 11:08

    Correction, fracking can not cause groundwater pollution, but improper borehole construction can. Chemicals have been used for many decades in all exploration boreholes! Farmers could pollute their own water by connecting waters from different aquifers through drilling.

  • patrick.erasmus - 2012-09-12 14:11

    Is this woman serious?

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