Why public consultation is the Achilles heel of SA’s fossil fuel ambitions

By Lisa Steyn

It was not so long ago that an oil or gas discovery was a reason to rejoice for all the economic benefits it would bring to a country. It’s since become a matter of fierce contestation between those in favour of fossil fuel development and those concerned with the potential impact on the environment – and it’s a fight that is increasingly ending up in the courts.

In South Africa’s recent history, a few court victories have successfully thwarted extractive projects, a notable example being the¬†court judgment against Shell’s planned seismic surveying¬†offshore of the Wild Coast; or the less-prominently reported court decision which has delayed the expansion of the Tendele coal mine in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

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This article first appeared in News24 on 17 October 2022.

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