Tag Archives: South Africa

South Africa Shale Pits Shell Against Sheep Farmers

28 Aug

by Paul Burkhardt / Bloomberg

Shell applied for permission in 2011 to drill 24 exploratory wells in the Karoo. GO!/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Shell applied for permission in 2011 to drill 24 exploratory wells in the Karoo. GO!/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)s shale gas drilling plans for South Africa’s Karoo semi-desert are pitting the government and its energy goals against farmers and conservationists like billionaire Johann Rupert who say the land will be spoiled.

The government estimates enough gas can be discovered to generate 1 trillion rand ($100 billion) of sales within three decades and help bring a country that imports 70 percent of its crude oil needs closer to supplying its own energy demand. Landowners are lining up against the water-intensive drilling techniques that Europes biggest oil company intends to use.

“People don’t see what will happen,” Izak van der Merwe, a 59-year old sheep farmer, said as he sipped a beer while walking down a line of freshly slain antelope at the Murraysburg Hunting Competition, 620 kilometers (385 miles) northeast of Cape Town. “The people at Shell don’t realize the kind of ecosystem we have.”

Continue reading

14 Activists Arrested Protesting Coal in South Africa

23 Oct

Activists Confront Eskom in Johannesburg

Fourteen activists including groundWork‘s Bobby Peek, Earthlife’s Makoma Lekalakala and Greenpeace Africa‘s Melita Steele have been arrested while protesting at the Eskom megawatt park. Today, three campaigning organizations joined forces to put South Africa’s energy utility, Eskom, under “new management.” Activists confronted the utility to publicly highlight that Eskom has failed to deliver clean, affordable, accessible electricity to the people of this country, and demand a shift away from coal. The organizations installed “new management” members Bobby Peek as the new Eskom CEO, Makoma Lekalakala as the new Eskom stakeholder engagement director and Melita Steele3 as the new Eskom spokesperson.

The protest at Megawatt Park comes in the wake of Eskom’s announcement of further electricity price hikes to pay for new coal-fired power stations.

Continue reading

Water minister cancels visit amidst road blockades and protests

10 Jun

By Masoka Dube

South Africa—Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa canceled her visit to Mpumalanga in the wake of community protests over water shortages.

The visit was scheduled for Sunday but last-minute cancellations were made, days after Pienaar residents in Msogwaba outside Mbombela burned tyres and blockaded roads in protest against week-long water shortages.

“We are currently not aware why the visit has been postponed but as soon as I know I will let you know. The dignitaries were supposed to report on progress made in addressing the water provision problems in the area,” regional water and environment department spokesperson Themba Khoza said on Thursday.

According to Khoza, Molewa’s proposed visit included a sod-turning ceremony for the second phase of the Acornhoek bulk pipeline at Shatale township near Bushbuckridge and the handover of two water treatment plants in Louisville near Komatipoort.

Khoza said the water treatment plants, which are designed to carry out multiple treatment stages, would benefit about 6000 households in Louisville while the Acornhoek bulk pipeline would address the water challenge within the Bushbuckridge local municipality.

“The pipeline will supply domestic water to the community of Bushbuckridge from the Inyaka Dam. The pipeline will ensure that about 95 villages in the Bushbuckridge local municipality have access to clean water,” he said.

Khoza said the minister’s visit was postponed to July 2, when Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza is expected to accompany her.

Bushbuckridge local municipality is one of the province’s poverty-stricken municipalities and has more than 1 million residents. – AENS

News source here