Newspaper Article: Daily News – 17 May 2018
Article by: Mphathi Nxumalo
Desmond D’Sa from the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance pulled no punches during a community meeting with Sasol on Thursday, railing against plans to explore for oil and gas on the SA coastline.
Durban – Civil society organisations have come out strongly against South African petrol producer, Sasol who want to explore for oil and gas off the coasts of Durban and Richards Bay.
Sasol executives came to Austerville to engage with the community.
Desmond D’Sa from the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance did not pull any punches when he said he would never accept the oil industry.
Referring to the problems in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, he said people in the area were living in poverty.
“We have fat cats making billions,” he said.
Sasol and Italian energy and exploration company ENI have held public hearings into their plans to explore for oil and gas, with the meetings turning into robust debates.
D’Sa said companies from Europe came to Africa to plunder its resources as they exhausted their own in Europe.
“Thousands of people om the coastline live on fish,” he said.
D’Sa said he did not want to be on the wrong side of history and urged Sasol, the state parastatal to also be on the “right side of history”.
John Harris, executive vice president of upstream at Sasol said they had come to listen to the concerns of the community.
He said he could not give a definite time frame on when the exploration process will be finished.
Harris also said they would ensure that the drilling had minimal environmental impact.
He also said they have invested hundreds of millions in communities in South Africa and Mozambique.