n Stellenbosch Law Review - Fracking in the Karoo : approvals required?

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1016-4359


The possibility of exploiting vast shale gas deposits in the Karoo Basin in South Africa by using a mining technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", became a reality during 2008. The granting of a number of applications for licences to extract gas was met with stiff resistance on the one hand and enthusiastic reception on the other. All the uncertainties and controversies caused the Department of Mineral Resources to place a moratorium on licences and setting up a task team to get a better perspective on fracking through the publication of the Report on Investigation of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Karoo Basin of South Africa (2012). Since fracking has the potential to detrimentally affect the environment and water resources the main focus of the article is to indicate which permits, licences or authorisations are required before fracking can commence. Core components of the different approval processes are procedures for both public participation and the submission of some form of environmental assessment, programme or report. Prefacing this discussion is a brief examination of what fracking is, where shale gas deposits exist in South Africa and what the extent of such deposits is.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error