Frack off?

2015-11-04 06:00

CONTROVERSY stalks the question of fracking throughout the world – with some states in America going to the extent of banning it outright. Whether you know what it is about or not, an urgent appeal is made to all role players in Umvoti and New Hanover districts to attend the scoping meetings to be held tomorrow by the potential environmental assessment practitioners.

The New Hanover meeting will be held in the public hall on Thursday 5 November at 9.30am and in Greytown at Greytown Lodge, Voortrekker Street at 2.30pm, also on Thursday.

Texas-based company, Rhino Oil and Gas is initiating this early phase three-year programme in the Midlands covering 10 000 farms.

Conservancies in the province are opposing such a move on ecological, health, social, and economic grounds.

The KZN Agricultural Union called a meeting of farm leaders last week to look at the impact and issues of the proposed exploration.

African Conservation Trust CEO, Francois du Toit, said he believed the application “is the single agricultural, socio-economic,environmental biggest threat facing South Africa today”.

Two years ago, a groundwater expert, Professor Gerrit van Tonder, warned that large-scale gas fracking could have a devastating pollution impact on the country’s priceless pool of clean underground drinking water. He estimated it could take less than two months for contaminated fracking fluids and other pollution to contaminate boreholes.

Fracking is the use of hydrological fracturing techniques to recover natural shale gas, and the risk of contamination of groundwater in our already water-stressed environment is totally unacceptable.

A spokesman for the company has not ruled out fracking if commercial reserves of gas, methane or helium are found.

It is of vital importance that all interested parties and role players attend one of the two meetings to be held tomorrow to discuss the issue of fracking.


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