The civil rights organisation AfriForum and the Treasure the Karoo Action Group’s (TKAG’s) succeeded in its appeal against the Ministers of Mineral Resources and Environmental Affairs to aside the regulations on petroleum exploration and production, as promulgated in 2015 and which allows for fracking in South Africa.
A full bench of judges on Thursday ruled in favour of AfriForum and TKAG in the Appeals Court in Bloemfontein. The two parties have been involved in the litigation for years to prevent the implementation of fracking for gas extraction in the Karoo.
AfriForum and TKAG maintained that the regulations were illegal on several grounds. The Court indeed found that the Minister for Mineral Resources do not have the power and authority to implement the regulations for petroleum exploration and production. The Minister ought to have taken ownership of the process and regulations, however.
Morné Mostert, Head of Local Government Affairs at AfriForum, says that this is a major victory to ensure that our environment is preserved. “We must ensure that future generations have a place in which to live sustainably. We cannot afford to take short-sighted decision.”
He says that the ruling is proof of the necessity that the Departments of Mineral Resources and Environmental Affairs should consult with organisations like AfriForum and TKAG, rather than blatantly continuing and making wrong decisions.
Shell has already downscaled its fracking plans in the Karoo as a result of continuous pressure from AfriForum and TKAG.
The court application was won with cost.