Government gives fracking green light despite strong environmental resistance

On Thursday, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane announced government's decision to go ahead with shale gas development in the Karoo region.

Government has said that shale gas could be the answer to the country's energy challenges as coal-fired power stations are battling to meet the rising demand for electricity.

Industry and environmental analysts have opposed the process of fracking, arguing it has the potential to poison the Karoo's underground water supply.

Frost & Sullivan industry analyst for energy and the environment, Tilden Hellyer, says South Africa's approach to fracking is slow, which isn't always a bad thing.

We have several studies currently online that you can go read which will allude to the pros and cons.

Tilden Hellyer, analyst for energy and the environment, Frost & Sullivan

Hellyer says some regions, such as the Eastern Cape, need better road infrastructure and better connections to the grid and may not be able to host fracking units if we consider their economy and water availability.

We will destroy the Karoo.

Marcel, caller

Hellyer says shale gas deposits cannot be moved. He adds that fracking needs to be done in areas where shale gas can be found underground.

The economic benefit is gigantic.

Glen, caller

Listen to Tilden Hellyer share some of the concerns related to fracking:


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