Oil giant to drill off Durban coastline

Durban - Local environmentalists are outraged over ExxonMobil's plans to drill for oil and gas off Durban's southern coastline.

According to the Sunday Independent, the oil giant was one of a few companies awarded rights to explore for gas and oil off the coast of South Africa.

The company plans to drill in an area half the size of KwaZulu-Natal. 

Environmentalists, however, say that the Environmental Resources Management agency (ERM), linked to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) failed to adequately notify the public of the oil company's proposal.

They claim drilling of this nature will destroy the entire ecosystem.


A meeting between all parties last week ended in gridlock.

This issue follows close on the heels of a decision taken last month regarding fracking in the Karoo.

President Jacob Zuma was given 30 days to halt the issuing of exploration licences for fracking in the area.

The Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) said at the time they want to see physical steps to halt the process. They said Zuma was the one that needs to put a stop to it.

TKAG and civil rights group AfriForum hand-delivered a letter to Zuma's offices at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. In the letter the groups call for Zuma to investigate the fracking process and to speak to South Africans about the matter before issuing exploration licences.


Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth.

It involves pumping a mixture of water and chemicals into the ground. Activists have raised concerns about the process as it uses vast quantities of water and the chemicals could contaminate surface and underground water.

If Zuma failed to address the matter, the two organisations would approach Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Failing this they would go to the high court.

They said going to court would be the last resort. If needed they were financially secure enough to take the matter to the Constitutional Court on the basis that there were no meaningful attempts by government to engage with the public on the matter.

DerpyHooves 2014/08/03 11:27:47 AM
>> Complain about petrol being +R14/l, unemployment, energy shotage, low GDP >> Complain about off shore drilling Pick one
Koos Luerre 2014/08/03 11:27:59 AM
These hypocrites are likely to drive with petrol or diesel driven vehicles to the protest site. Classic case on NIMBY (not in my back yard)
Johan Van Der Vyver 2014/08/03 11:28:22 AM
Why not drill for oil? This is less harmfull than fracking in the Karoo!
Justin Louvain Van Niekerk 2014/08/03 11:36:03 AM
Oh no, we might loose our blue flag status now....
Dennis van Aarde 2014/08/03 11:40:02 AM
We public must realize to complain about all this is to no avail as jobs must be created,remember ever since beginning man has always complained about expansion and if you think carefully --no expansion no jobs simple as that
Thando Busi 2014/08/03 11:57:32 AM
Myb one of Zumas son or daughter already has share on this...
Sears Keto 2014/08/03 12:11:07 PM
People in Umgababa, Ukomaaas need jobs. This oil company may strike oil off Umkomaas beach and it will employ many people from the region. There are lots of gas and oil in the sealine off Umgababa and Umkomaas. The KZN southern areas are only good for Tourism, Retirement villages( Penningten) and sugar cane and fruit( bananas). We need more industries there. mooi bly mense.
Sears Keto 2014/08/03 12:18:10 PM
President Zuma should ask these 2 organistions to provde jobs for the people in the south coast KZN region. People have to travel daily to Durban to find jobs and it costs 1500 rands only in travel expenses.
Raymond Van Den Brink 2014/08/03 12:18:11 PM
Derpy/Bruwer, 80% of the price of a litre of petrol is made up of taxes and levies that goes to the government coffers. Only 20% is the actual cost of petrol. Who are the real thieves??
Grant Marshall Boonzaier 2014/08/03 12:26:30 PM
With a standard 4... Seriously what do you think Zuma will do?