An organisation has called on plans to drill 11 more exploration wells at sea between Cape St Francis and Mossel Bay, to be scrapped.
Frack Free SA is an organisation powered by volunteers that “opposes, on ecological, health, social, and economic grounds, the use of fracking or other techniques to recover unconventional gas” according to their website.
The organisation said: “This area is where the warm and cold currents meet, a sensitive and biodiverse ecotone. It is fundamental to the marine biodiversity of our coastline.”
The drilling is for the Brulpadda project, spearheaded by fuel company Total South Africa which is the main shareholder in the proposed project according to Frack Free SA.
“The anti-fracking lobby group advised people to register as soon as possible as an interested and affected party, with Candice Sadan of SLR Consulting and submit written comments by email no later than 20 July.”
SLR, an international company consulting to a number of industry sectors, describes itself as “global leaders in environmental and advisory solutions”.
It has asked for a virtual meeting with stakeholders in the Brulpadda project on Friday, 16 July.
“An invitation will be sent out to all registered interested and affected parties.”
Environmentalist poses questions
Respected Southern Cape environmentalist Fred Orban questioned the exploration for fossil fuels “in a changing world that is moving away from such fuels”.
Orban asked: “What studies have they done to see if there are other options for energy? Which tests are required? Underwater explosions interfere with marine life. If you kill the ocean, you kill the world.”
He pointed out that seeing economic advantages from fossil fuels was a short-term view.
“What is the long-term view? Is this being done scientifically? Those are the questions people must ask. Job creation is one thing, but you have to think of the health of the country and the world. Covid-19 is a clear example: if you abuse nature there will be a negative outcome.”
Orban is a previous chairman of several nature conservancies, was a trustee of the Pinnacle Point Conservation Trust, a CapeNature director, a Gouritz Biosphere Reserve director and he was the founder chairman of the Mossel Bay Environmental Partnership (MEP).
Frack Free SA said about the proposed drilling: “This must be stopped because we have a constitutional right and responsibility to protect our natural resources and heritage for future generations.
“Join the online meeting and use the chat function to pose questions. Think of the questions you want to ask beforehand.
“There are risks that they cannot mitigate against, that will impact artisanal fishing and marine life. For their own profit, they will destroy the livelihoods of others and the rights of future generations to enjoy the marine life.”
This article first appeared on Mossel Bay Advertiser and was republished with permission.