DA does about-turn on fracking
The DA has come out in favour of fracking in the Karoo on condition that it is done responsibly and that it is well-regulated.
Delegates at the party’s federal congress today voted in favour of fracking because it could create jobs and help economic development in impoverished areas.
The party was initially opposed.
The motion was considerably changed from the initial motion proposed by the Camdeboo caucus in the Eastern Cape, which said the DA is “opposed to the process of hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo” until and unless certain conditions were met.
But Western Cape MEC Robin Carlisle suggested a change to the resolution to the DA supporting fracking, but with a long list of conditions.
“Shale gas is one of the safest and cleanest energy source,” he said.
Fracking is done to explore for shale gas.
Changes to the motion were also supported by MPs Donald Smiles and James Lorimer, who said there were huge reserves of gas in the Karoo and that there was potential for job creation and employment.
The party said in its motion that fracking was acceptable on certain conditions, including that government initiated a strategic environmental assessment, reviewed current applications by gas companies for fracking to ensure compliance and a full disclosure of chemical substances used in fracking.
Other conditions included that all water exiting drill shafts is collected and cleaned so as not to pollute surface or ground water resources, roads damaged by prospecting or extraction operations be repaired, dust and noise be controlled, and the appropriate legislation and monitoring be put in place by national government.
“There must be tough penalties for contravention,” the motion said.
Following objections to procedure, the DA has decided to reopen its fracking debate in congress when it resumes after lunch.