Southern Cape Land Committee
groundWork (Friends of the Earth South Africa)

RESPONSE TO SHELL BACKING OUT OF KAROO

Graaf Reinet and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 20 May 2015 – The Southern Cape Land Committee (SCLC) [1] and groundWork [2] welcome the announcement that Shell will not “aggressively” continue to pursue their application for an exploratory license to frack for shale. This is in line with international trends in the fracking industry which is increasingly realizing that the failure to generate sufficient profits makes fracking unviable and dangerous. 

Parallel to this are the various struggles of local resistance globally, that are gaining momentum and highlighting to the world real concern that society has about the negative environmental impact of fracking.

From the outset Shell’s aggressive and arrogant attitude was apparent in the inflated promises of jobs and investment, in the disregard for local people’s opinions and in the obvious hope that legislation would favour investors above all else. SCLC is hopeful that the other companies who are applying for licenses, Bundu and Falcon, will follow this example.

The imperative now is to pursue renewable energy options which are environmentally and socially sustainable and will protect the fragile and unique natural resources of the Karoo while opening opportunities for local people to benefit from access to energy that supports their needs, rather than that of corporations.

Local people whose lives are impacted upon by poverty and unemployment have been driving an anti-fracking campaign awareness in townships and on farms in the Karoo calling for transformative development which will provide sustainable employment and skills while protecting the natural resources, in particular water.

SCLC and groundWork are committed to supporting local people in organizing and strengthening voice towards agrarian transformation, towards a Karoo where there are equal opportunities and towards a Karoo where our children will enjoy a quality of life.  

Fracking was and never will be the development plan for the Karoo.  It is an extractive plan for corporate profit.

We stand in solidarity with all member of society in South Africa and globally who are resisting fracking.

 

FOOTNOTES

[1] The Southern Cape Land Committee works with excluded rural women, men and youth in the Southern Cape and western regions of the Eastern Cape towards agrarian transformation. SCLC’s vision is for a vibrant, sustainable and vibrant countryside where there is no poverty, people are living lives of dignity, family values and community culture are upheld, the environment is protected and there is a more equitable access to and control over natural resources and opportunities http://sclc.co.za/

[2] groundWork is an environmental justice organisation working with community people from around South Africa, and increasingly Southern Africa, on environmental justice and human rights issues focusing on Coal, Climate and Energy Justice, Waste and Environmental Health. groundWork is the South African member of Friends of the Earth International.

CONTACT

Southern Cape Land Committee
Angela Conway
Tel (m): +27 (0) 82 295 7760
Email: Angela_Conway@telkomsa.net

groundWork:
Megan Lewis
Tel (m) +27 (0) 83 450 5541
Email: megan@groundwork.org.za