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:
- To: Department of Environmental Affairs
Appeals and Legal Review Directorate
Attention: The Director for Appeals and Legal Review
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
3) Copied to: The Petroleum Agency SA
Attention: The Chief Executive Officer
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
Tel: +27 (0)21 412 1582
Send your Appeal (using the downloadable Appeal form below) before 30 September 2019.
Picture credit: Getty Images