Energy and Mineral Resources minister Gwede Mantashe and oil major Shell (Impact Africa Ltd and BG International) have been refused the right to appeal against Part A of the urgent interdict, with costs.
“[13 In the result, it is ordered that:
13.1. The application by the first, fourth and fifth respondents for leave to appeal against the judgment delivered on 28 December 2021 be and is hereby dismissed.”
It remains that Shell cannot conduct a seismic survey until end of November 2022, obviously pending the result of Part B of the interdict, which will be heard on 30 May 2022.
Part B of the application will involve
1) the Applicants arguing that the Respondents should be interdicted from conducting a seismic survey off South Africa’s Eastern Cape coast until and unless they obtain an environmental authorisation under the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) 107 of 1998. This Part B hearing for the Final interdict
“An Environmental Authorisation will ensure that the views of the people of South Africa, particularly those of rural Eastern Cape Coastal communities, are taken into account in a decision about offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction. These are the people who will be most affected by any negative impacts of exploration and extraction. An EA will also ascertain the wisdom of doing a seismic survey in the unique and famously biodiverse marine ecosystems of the Wild Coast in the light of new research that has been done in the years since 2014. We cannot allow this exploration to be approved and proceed on the basis of outdated and inadequate research. Our descendants will curse us for that stupidity and the desecration of the beautiful Wild Coast which sustains us and attracts and inspires nature lovers from across the globe.” Sinegugu Zulu of Sustaining the Wild Coast
2) and “a judicial review hearing to set aside the granting of the Exploration Right and/or the renewals of that Right (based on many grounds such as insufficient public participation, failure to take other laws (such as the NEM: Integrated Coastal Management Act), and other administrative law grounds)” according to attorney Ricky Stone.
Drawing by Karien van Wyk