Fracking Control Proposal from Water Affairs

Groundwater is the Karoo’s lifeblood.

Words by Julienne du Toit

Photographs by Chris Marais

Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Minister of Water Affairs, intends declaring fracking a ‘controlled activity’.

This means that anyone wanting to use the method of hydraulic fracturing during exploration for onshore oil and gas (or production) in South Africa will first have to apply for a water-use licence.

A fracking rig by night. Courtesy TKAG.

Obtaining the licence entails detailed geohydrological studies, environmental impact assessments, public participation, the development of Integrated Water and Waste Management Plans and monitoring programmes.

Interested and affected parties (I&APs) can challenge the process and the substance of the applications. Even if the licence is issued, an appeal can be lodged via the Water Tribunal.

Anyone wanting to comment must do so within 60 days of 23 August 2013, when the notice was published in the Government Gazette.

Comments can be sent in writing to Deborah Mochotlhi (the Department’s chief director of regulation) via email, fax number 012 308 3508 or the following address:

Department of Water Affairs

Sedibeng Building

185 Francis Baard Str

Private Bag X313

Pretoria 0001.

Any enquiries can be directed to Zacharia Maswuna on 012 336 8784 or Anet Muir on 012 336 8806.

  • The proposal was published in notice 863 in Gazette 36760 on 23 August 2013.

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