Water, Fracking and the Environment

Water, Fracking and the Environment

South Africa has the best environmental law in the world, as we also have one of the best constitutions.  So, why do we have high levels of pollution of our air, land and water?  Quite simply, because we have no regulation in place to ensure that the law is respected.

We seem to have a government that lemming like is rushing to the sea of greatest return and ruining the country and its people without concern.

If only we were Singapore or Switzerland with no resources but human capital to work with, then we might understand how to succeed.

The Value of Water

Water is the most valuable asset any country has, because without pure, sparkling, glorious water, we have not life or health.  We only have sickness and death.

Yet the South African Government is promoting fracking for shale gas in a desperately dry area of the country – the Karoo.

Has the government realised that we have a water crisis throughout the country?  That our rivers and catchments are compromised by heavy pollution and wood lots that suck the much needed water from the catchment before it feeds the streams and rivers?

Has it realised that releasing partially treated Acid Mine Drainage Water into the Vaal and the Crocodile with unacceptable salt levels will kill our food production?

Has any minister walked through affected places with the community to see what is happening?  To that I can answer a clear no as I have not seen them there or been told they visited.

So what about fracking?

Fracking should not take place at all.  The water has to be kept for the communities and ecosystems [1]of South Africa.  Already climate change is negatively affecting us with rising winter temperatures and flash floods.  This may seem harsh, however methane gas impacts negatively on climate change and fracking destroys aquifers.  We have lots of methane in our landfill sites and as by products from our sewage treatment plants – why are we not capturing that at a much lower cost and greater benefit for all?

I could be cynical.

Fracking will destroy key jobs in the Karoo and a major export industry.  The companies that want to frack expect the South African government (aka the tax payers) to fund the infrastructure and cannot guarantee jobs – I asked them and received this reply.

It is time for every South African to question the government and refuse to accept being told what to do.  We, the people, have the right to life, to clean water, clean air and clean land on which to grow our food.  It is in our constitution and we must defend it against polluters and corporate invaders


[1] Ecosystems – the entire system of humans, plants, animals etc

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