Drakensberg region under fracking threat

27 Oct 2011 19:16 #4555 by Vertical Endeavour

South African’s have yet to become better informed about it....”fracking”. It burst onto the scene this year when the South African government halted plans for drilling for gas in the Karoo by oil company Shell. A moratorium was imposed on fracking allowing the government to better understand the environmental consequences it will have. In the meantime prospecting taking place in other parts of the country, including the Drakensberg has had less media coverage. Should we be surprised?

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28 Oct 2011 12:25 #4556 by ghaznavid
[the following is not intended as a statement on politics in general or in South Africa, it is specific reference to the above and to facts, do not take offense at any of it]

The problem with the theoretical system of democracy is that it assumes that the public is informed, and aware of matters. However, this is rarely the case, further to which, it is just a system of selecting government, not running government and thus we do not have any REAL say in what government does.

Surely if we get a petition (surely everyone on VE is anti-fracing the Berg), and we can get a few thousand signatures (which will be a mission, but possible, I'll set up a facebook one some time, not that thats much use, but we should be able to get some people to sign after joining a facebook petition) we can at least get some media coverage and maybe get the higher ups to deny the rights.

But surely, considering the level of tourism and the world heritage site status, this would not happen? Although thats what the Germans said about what Hitler said he'd do in his book shortly before they voted him into power...

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse." Herman Daly

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31 Oct 2011 10:54 #4570 by intrepid
I was impressed that the government imposed a moratorium on drilling the Karoo so that they could become better informed on the matter. I was not so impressed that the "desktop" prospecting was allowed and that it seems they and the companies involved wanted to keep this quiet. Seems all too typical.

We can learn a lot from what develops in the Karoo. There are apparently also comprehensive studies in the making which hopefully will help in the cause against fracking.

Right now there is little to go by. The word is just that the prospecting is being done in an area which includes the Berg, but not many seem know more details than that, and those that do are not sharing them.

We definitely need to be informed on the matter and if it gets that far, yes, we'll have to stir up a campaign to keep fracking well away from the Berg. This initial article should only be the begining and discussions will have to be ongoing.

Ultimately this is yet another good reason to get the ball rolling on getting more protection on the entire Drakensberg and neighbouring areas of Lesotho. The current declared wilderness areas, World Hertiage Status and trans-frontier area are great, but not enough. We also need more biospheres, conservancies and official buffer zones surrounding the Berg. Even if it takes more than a decade to get there, it'll be worth it.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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31 Oct 2011 13:44 #4585 by Boerkie
Here's a idea for a bumper sticker...

If you frack the Berg....
I'll frack you up
:thumbsdown:
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian

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31 Oct 2011 19:42 #4587 by intrepid
I just stumbled onto this article about KZN Wildlife's biodiversity stewardship program, in which landowners can retain rights to their land, yet afford it a degree of conservation status. This is possibly one strategy to control where fracking can be done, and certainly something which will afford the Drakensberg a protective buffer zone in general.
www.kznwildlife.com/images/stories/2011%20oct%2022%20mpushini.jpg

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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03 Nov 2011 03:26 #4606 by Serious tribe
This is similar to coal seam gas or csg which is harvested in oz. Here to, there is a huge amount of contention about it. It seems that as oil energy resources become less and coal produces more CO2 emissions than natural gas, this is the way things seem to be moving. There is a lot of info on the web, this is the first site i looked at and gives an idea of the process.

theconversation.edu.au/explainer-coal-seam-gas-shale-gas-and-fracking-in-australia-2585

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02 Dec 2011 05:41 - 02 Dec 2011 05:42 #5080 by intrepid
A group of concerned individuals and organisations are, under the banner of Wildlands Trust, presenting a series of information-sharing talks this coming weekend. The schedules are:

- Nottingham Road Hotel: 3 December at 12h00

- Cowan House School, Hilton: 3 December at 18h00

- Wildlands Oasis, Durban: 5 December at 18h00

The talks are presented by Jonathan Deal, the Chairman of the Treasure Karoo Action Group and an authority on the environmental implications of fracking.

Contact Bruce Houghting (082 402 5654) for further information.

In anyone from this forum is able to attend one of the talks it would be great! Please bring back as much info as possible in any form.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last Edit: 02 Dec 2011 05:42 by intrepid.

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02 Dec 2011 14:56 #5089 by ghaznavid
Ah, thats such unfortunate timing. I'm on board course (aka bored course) in Jo'burg and won't be back before that. This trip to Jo'burg has now cost me 2 cricket matches (I normally only get 1 a year) and now this also, oh well...

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse." Herman Daly

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08 Dec 2011 10:33 #5134 by intrepid
Sterkhorn was able to attend one of the talks and sent me some of the material. I'll figure out how to best present some of the stuff on this site, but I've attached a pamphlet for starters.

The presenter was of the opinion that if fracking is not stopped in the Karoo it will set the precedent for the rest of the country and could allow operations up too 500m from the Drakensberg Park boundary. They are preparing for a possible challenge in the Constitutional Court if the government cannot be dissuaded from allowing exploration. News is that Sasol has apparently pulled out of the explorations.

Check out the Treasure Karoo Action Group website:
www.treasurethekaroo.co.za/
Along with all the info they also have an online petition going, which everyone is encouraged to sign.


Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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08 Dec 2011 14:28 #5136 by ghaznavid
I can't find the online petition on their website, where do I find it? I'm sure I can get 20 or so people to sign it.

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse." Herman Daly

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