As you will have heard by now, the next step in the journey towards unconventional gas extraction in SA – environmental authorisation for FIVE applications – has been granted. Everyone needs to engage if we are to stop exploration, so we have tried to make it as easy as possible for you to record your disapproval.  Let’s swamp all these Departments with emails and make sure they hear that we really mean “This far and NO further!” We know that exploration will lead to extraction, so the impacts have to be assessed up front.  Once the exploration is successful, it is too late.

We are unsure of the final closing date for the Rhino appeals as the Environmental Consultants have not notified everyone yet, but recommend you get your letter in soon – before 23 October.

DMR and PASA are ignoring the studies showing renewable energy can be used to augment the electricity grids supplies which are from polluting sources (coal and nuclear). The Central Energy Fund commissioned a pre-feasibility study and then a feasibility study in 2011.  The results of this have been ignored due to the need for Eskom to continue with ‘business as usual’, a process linked to wholesale corruption and pollution.

Unconventional gas will add to the burden of Greenhouse Gases which are in turn are driving climate change.  We will not meet our international agreements unless we go for renewable and ditch the hydrocarbons.

So here goes:

Download the easy to complete form here.   We have given you some ideas below on how to fill it in.

It needs to be emailed to:


and copied to:

  • (in the case of Rhino)
  • (in the case of Motuoane)

Project Information for either or all of the following. Separate form for EACH application.

Project Name           Authorisation Register number DMR Authorisation date
Rhino: Exploration Right Application for Petroleum Products on Various Farms in the Free State Province 12/3/294 ER 21st September 2017
Rhino: Exploration Right Application for Petroleum Products on Various Farms in the Magisterial Districts of Matatiele and Mt Fletcher, Eastern Cape 12/3/295 ER
Rhino: Exploration Right Application for Petroleum Products on Various Farms in Northern Kwazulu-Natal 12/3/317 ER
Rhino: Exploration Right Application for Petroleum Products on Various Farms in the Free State and North West Provinces 12/3/318 ER
Motuoane Energy: Various Farms in the District Municipalities of Lejweleputswa and Fezile Dabi, Free State Province 12/3/315


Section #1: asks if you are an individual or a community/organisation – cross out the one which does not apply.  Remember if you are appealing on behalf of a community or organisation you will need to provide proof in the form of a mandate from a meeting to show you may do so.  No-one may respond on behalf of FrackFreeSA.

Section #2: Is your appeal based on factors associated with the process that was followed by the applicant in obtaining authorisation? Say No if you are happy with the process so far.

Say Yes (tick or cross out no) if you registered as an IAP but were not notified; the objections you submitted previously were ignored or inappropriately addressed; if the time frames for you to be notified were not followed (eg were you notified of this decision before 16 October?) or if you were notified by SMS with a reference to a website (this is completely unacceptable for rural people with limited internet access). You may have other reasons.

Section #3: Is your appeal based on factors associated with environmental impacts not taken into account by the department in refusing or authorising the application?  Yes or No?  If Yes, provide reasons.

You can choose one of the following examples:

Precautionary Principle in National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) requires that a risk-averse and cautious approach be applied, which takes into account the limits of current knowledge about the consequences of decisions and actions.  Many countries have banned the extraction of unconventional gas due to the potential harm to people and the environment which supports our lives and livelihoods.  Exploration will lead to extraction, so should not be authorised to the potential for impacts which cannot be effectively mitigated.

My Constitutional Right is being affected – Section 24 of the South African Constitution states that “everyone has the right to:

  • an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and
  • have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that
    • prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
    • promote conservation; and
    • secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

The extraction of unconventional gas has been shown to cause pollution and ecological degradation.  The benefits are for a privileged few, with the impacts borne by the majority of South Africans, especially the poor and vulnerable sectors of our society.

Overstated benefits – the numbers of jobs generated are few and will not outweigh those that will be lost for example in agriculture and tourism.  This has been calculated in the Karoo Shale Gas Strategic Environmental Assessment and verified globally in contradiction to the figures mooted by the applicants.  Renewable energy sources and technology can generate more sustainable jobs and with few negative impacts and no long term legacy.

Water Security – the National Water Act was enacted to ensure the sustainable use of water through the protection of the quality of water resources for the benefit of all water users.  We are a water scarce country, with most catchments oversubscribed and thus little availability for new users.  We do not have sufficient capacity to allow for large volumes to be used for the extraction of unconventional gas, which will lead to water pollution.  This application is in the water factory which supplies water available for us and the environment which supports our lives and livelihoods.

For coal bed methane gas extraction, the area will have to be dewatered first, which will have disastrous effects for those who use water – us all. (THIS DOES NOT APPLY FOR RHINO’S MATATIELE PROJECT WHERE THEY ARE AFTER SHALE GAS)

Social Impacts – the effects on our rural and small town communities have been well documented in the Karoo Shale Gas Strategic Environmental Assessment and verified globally.  We are struggling to build sustainable communities in the aftermath of apartheid, without having to add to the stresses already affecting nation building.

Transport issues – the transport of raw materials in and products out of the area will lead to traffic problems, even greater than those affecting communities living within the mining areas of the country.  Our small towns and rural areas will be unable to cope with this impact for which taxpayers, not the developers, will have to bear the cost.

Sand Mining – is already an issue with the significant impacts on our rivers and estuaries from where sand is being mined unsustainably, whether legally or not.  The amount of sand required for the current construction demand does not match that required for extraction of unconventional gas.  This impact has not been considered in the environmental impact assessment process.

NB: Remember to state for each one that exploration will lead to extraction, so the impacts have to be assessed up front.  Once the exploration is successful, it is too late.  No projects are stopped at that stage, no matter how detrimental the impacts.

For more details, check the Summary for Decision Making in Karoo Shale Gas SEA.

Section #4: Would you agree to the activity proceeding if your concerns can be addressed by rectifying the process or mitigating or eliminating the impacts of the activity? Yes or No?  If no, provide reasons

We suggest to say yes but only if it can be demonstrated that it can be done safely within a level of risk acceptable to those who will be affected the most.

Section #5: Are you fundamentally opposed to any development activity on the site? Yes or No?  If no, provide reasons.

We suggest to say no, but the development must be appropriate for the sensitivity of the site and wishes of those whose lives and livelihoods will be most affected.

Section #6: Do you have an objection in principle against the development? Yes or No?  If yes, provide reasons.

Exploration will lead to extraction if successful.  The National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) states that all phases of a project must be assessed from the beginning and this has not been done.  No extraction projects have ever been turned down, once exploration has proven that viable resources exist.

Thank you so much for reading this far!

Now just download Appeals Template DEA, do a bit of cutting, pasting and clicking and you are done.

Five Approvals? Five Appeals!

One thought on “Five Approvals? Five Appeals!

  • October 13, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks you guys you are fantastic. SOOOO helpful.
    Go well April


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