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TKAG, Afriforum become anti-fracking force

A partnership between two lobby groups has been formed in an effort to stop government from issuing shale gas exploration licences in the Karoo.

In separate media statements issued yesterday, Afrikaner civil rights pressure group AfriForum and anti-fracking organisation Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) announced they would work jointly to prevent the hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Karoo.

TKAG chairperson Jonathan Deal said they were “very pleased to partner with an organisation that shares our vision of sustainable development for South Africa.

“The unequivocal support of AfriForum will change things dramatically, and TKAG can now concentrate on the almost certain legal battle which lies ahead,” Deal said.

He said Cullinan & Associates would be managing their legal campaign.

Julius Kleynhans, head of environmental affairs for AfriForum, said it was “exciting to partner with an organisation who shares our values of integrity and our vision of sustainable development for all South Africans”.

He said mining-related pollution across South Africa had shown that regulations and environmental management plans were not adequately adhered to.

“Authorities have proven their inability to enforce standards and our laws. Good practice only appears on paper.

“There are numerous legislative, technical, economic and environmental issues that indicate a clear need for a credible strategic environmental assessment before the issuing of even exploration licences can be justified.

“The risks linked to shale gas mining are enormous and we are of the opinion that the case for shale gas mining has not yet been proven,” he said.

He said a huge number of South Africans remained uninformed about fracking and one of their campaigns would include educating people what the mining technique was all about.

Mining Minister Susan Shabangu has vowed to defend government’s decision to allow shale gas exploration in the Karoo.

The DA and Cope are among the political parties that have opposed fracking. – WCN