Shale gas mining is a process that applies the technique of high-volume, horizontal, slick-water fracturing (‘fracking’ or ‘hydraulic fracturing’). It involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into horizontally drilled wells, under hydraulic pressure to fracture the underground shale layers and release gas.

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TKAG is a non-profit organisation striving to promote awareness, public participation, transparency, accountability and fairness around the issue of shale gas in South Africa.

Shale gas mining (SGM), is presently banned or under some form of restriction or moratorium in more than a hundred places around the world, including states, cities and countries like France, Bulgaria and Germany. In the United States, New York State has recently extended their ban on fracking, citing public health concerns as one of the main reasons. Quebec took a similar position after a lack of substantial economic benefits and public health risks were highlighted in a government report.

The economics of the SGM industry, the figures quoted on job creation and economic benefits are also contested and costs associated with environmental impacts, enforcement, public health and infrastructure may be significant.

Under these circumstances, acknowledging the lack of local research on the implications of shale gas mining within the South African context, and the lack of cohesive, broad and inclusive government consultation with the various stakeholders in South Africa, we stand in opposition to the licencing of shale gas exploration, or SGM in South Africa.

  The South African government has commissioned a Strategic Environmental Assessment on shale gas mining, which should provide a much needed scientific review of information to aid decision-makers. This study is expected to take up to two years.

We believe that until it has been proven that shale gas is in the best interests of all South Africans, and in line with Section 24 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, it should be opposed.

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