AgriSA Drawing a Line in the Sand

Agri SA’s Response to the Threat to Food Security from Shale Gas Development in South Africa.

Agri SA promotes the development, profitability, stability and sustainability of agriculture in South Africa by means of its involvement and input on national and international policy and the implementation thereof.

Due to its significant threat to food security in South Africa, Agri SA is highly concerned with the proposed exploration for and development of shale gas resources in South Africa.

The Department of Mineral Resources envisages the production of shale gas in South Africa to come online within 10 to 15 years from the date of this publication (Minister of Mineral Resources’ Budget Speech, 16 May 2017). The position by Government therefore appears to regard the development of a shale gas industry in South Africa as definite.

The current regulatory position with respect to shale and oil exploration and production in South Africa entails that a holder of an exploration right has the exclusive right to apply for and be granted a production right in respect of the petroleum and the exploration area in question. Therefore, should the current applications for exploration rights for shale gas in the Karoo, and KwaZulu-Natal midlands (and elsewhere) be granted, the holders of those rights would automatically be entitled to be granted production rights which will allow for full-scale shale gas production activities and, arguably, the end of the Karoo, KwaZulu-Natal midlands and other regions’ environment as we currently know it.

Agri SA regards it as imperative that any decision-making processes by Government with respect to the establishment of a shale gas industry be exercised with the utmost caution, from the outset.

To this end, Agri SA intends playing a pivotal role in assisting the powers that be in coming to the right decision.

Johannes Möller
President Agri SA

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Published on Wednesday, 5th July 2017 - 13:08