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Offshore Drilling due to go-ahead in KZN – unless you take a stand today!

Today our Campaign had a setback. The Environmental Authorisation which allows mining companies to drill for oil and gas off the KZN coastline was granted to Sasol and ENI. Apart from the procedural flaws identified by many Interested and Affected Parties during this process, the blatant vulgarities of how this Authorisation came to fruition is nothing short of unjust.

The South African public should be exasperated by this. How much more political interference and upheaval can a single nation digest in a single month; xenophobia, horrific gender-based violence, ministers who deny there is a climate movement in South Africa? This being the same Minister who seemingly is ignoring what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said about the link between the looming humanitarian crisis and climate change.

In the notification to stakeholders, ERM consulting company states that the Department of Mineral Resources has granted an Environmental Authorisation. We have said this in previous blogs on many occasions but “How did we get to a point where the very Department responsible for destroying and changing the landscape and seascape, is granting Environmental Authorisations?”

The grounds on which the Authorisation was granted are not environmental, its procedural. This after hundreds of Interested and Affected Parties and members of the public objected to this, highlighting how these companies are going into an environment we know little about. Of the little knowledge we have of these areas, what we do know is that they will be destroyed or at least changed in perpetuity. We will never know what they have destroyed, because we have never had the funding to allow our scientists and conservationists to sample or see the seabed at those depths, to merely explore and protect our beautiful seabed in KZN.  

The legislation does allow for a 20-day appeal period (deadline 30 September 2019). We encourage everyone to take a stand and fight for our marine environment and the cascading effects of climate change. All appeals are required to be on this template.

All appeals must be submitted to the 1) Minister of Environmental Affairs, in English, and copies sent to the 2) Department of Mineral Resources, to the 3) Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) and 4) Eni (the applicant) through one of the following means as per the details below:

  1. To: Department of Environmental Affairs

Appeals and Legal Review Directorate

Attention: The Director for Appeals and Legal Review

Email: appealsdirectorate@environment.gov.za

Post: Private Bag x 447, Pretoria, 0001

By Hand: Environment House, Corner Steve Biko and Soutpansberg Street,

Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083 specified addresses.

2) Copied to: Department of Mineral Resources

Legal Services Directorate

Attention: The Director of Legal Services

Facsimile: 086 710 0877

Post: Private Bag x 59, Arcadia, 0007

By Hand: Trevenna Campus, Building 2C, Corner of Meintjies and Francis Baard

Street, Sunnyside.

3) Copied to: The Petroleum Agency SA

Attention: The Chief Executive Officer

Email: eaappeals@petroleumagencysa.com

Post: Private Bag x 5111, Tygervalley, 7536

By Hand: Tygerpoort Building, 7 Mispel Road, Bellville, 7530

4) Copied to: Eni

Attention: Ms. Nicole Lomberg

Eni South Africa B.V.

1st Floor Icon Building, Corner CubeWS

Corner Lower Long & Hans Strijdom Road

Email: nicole.lomberg@eni.com

Tel: +27 (0)21 412 1582

Send your Appeal (using the downloadable Appeal form below) before 30 September 2019.

Picture credit: Getty Images

25 thoughts on “Offshore Drilling due to go-ahead in KZN – unless you take a stand today! Leave a comment

  1. Leave our Oceans alone !!! We do not need to have this off our beautiful coast !! This Poor Earth of ours… and all for greed !!!

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  2. In general, the layman does not have the background knowledge to properly object – “Save our Ocean” etc simply doesn’t cut it. It would help the cause were Oceans Not Oil to give us guidelines, please?

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    • Essentially one needs to focus on procedural and administrative fairness, the lack of focus on the consequences of this application to climate change which compromises human and environmental rights, ecological consequences to offshore drilling.
      All people, everywhere, should be able to live in a healthy environment and hold accountable those who stand in the way of achieving it.
      In your own words please, otherwise your appeal will be counted as one with ONO’s – no point in that:
      *Drilling for fossil fuels when scientists have already established we cannot afford to burn our existing global reserves is ecocide. It is the Minister of Environ Affairs’ mandated duty to consider the ‘sustainability’ of this application against ‘economic development’. Extraction of fossil fuels and the burning of them is not ‘sustainable’. It is the minister’s mandate to chart a fossil-free future (not a ‘reduced carbon’ one) for South Africa.
      * The alternative for this application stands as the development and use of renewable energy. This has not been granted enough consideration because the body that adjudicates the applications ( Petroleum Agency South Africa PASA ) is mandated to promote oil and gas.
      **It is arguable that developing renewable alternatives to this application would create substantially more employment.
      ** There has been no Cost Benefit Analysis for this application. Consequences to a blow-out to tourism, fisheries and recreational industries have not been properly considered.
      * Proper environmental context has not been properly established against which to weigh the impacts of the drilling. There has been no Strategic Environmental Assessment done for the Offshore oil and gas sector.
      *ENI and Sasol have failed to give any insight into their proposed Oil Spill Contingency Plan to allow stakeholders and I&APs to engage on whether or not this plan provides sufficient protection to marine and coastal environments.
      * The noise and pressure from Vertical Seismic Profiling was scoped out of the DEIAR. Science shows this needs mitigation especially during species migration periods.
      *’Oil discharges’ are par for the course in offshore oil and gas development. This mining application compromises the EDTEA’s mission for a coast “protected, restored and enhanced for future generations, while promoting equitable access and sustainable use of coastal resources for all stakeholders and user groups” etc…
      Jenny I’m sure you can list the ecological issues based on ONO’s blogs – Vulnerability of migrating species having to expend energy to avoid the drilling area; toxic discharges and smothering by drill cuttings etc.
      I hope this helps. Please make contact should yu have any further queries and thanks for your commitment.

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  3. Our oceans and shores and all living things are already suffering from all of the sewage contamination, add the offshore mining for oil and they will be doomed to extinction! Enough is enough!

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  4. This is pure greed and selfish destruction. There are alternative forms of energy. It’s imperative that we use clean, cheaper ways of harvesting energy.

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  5. We HAVE to start protecting our oceans and environment in general for our own survival! The planet Earth will continue very happily without us, once we have destroyed our oceans, fauna and flora. WAKE UP EVERYBODY!!!

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