Community groups along the coast, who are dependent on fishing for a sustainable livelihood, have objected, but have been ignored. In the Western Cape, the Langebaan fishing communities and the Saldanha along with Eastern Cape Environmental Network were part of a group that wrote to the Energy and Minerals Committee in Parliament to ask for further investigation. However, the parliament committee failed in their constitutional duty by ignored the letter written by 13 environmental groups. We heard nothing from parliament.
On the 30th of May, fifteen organisations wrote to the speaker of parliament, asking for an investigation. On the 23rd of June 2021, the speakers’ office responded. Although claiming that the DMRE was investigating the matter, it is now September and we have heard nothing official. the closing date for financial closure (the deadline by which the Karpower needs to have their permits and other paperwork in place was the end of July 2021, this was extended to the end of September 2021 so why is parliament dragging its heels?
Earlier, we were asking why the offshore companies are pushing to drill and threaten our oceans when there is no demand. But the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is now on record saying that with the karpowerships it needed gas for twenty years and they envisage that local gas will be used in the future.
In other words, the government appears to be creating artificial demand for offshore oil and gas. And as the prices for the RMIPPP are higher than the alternatives –the people of South Africa will have to pay for higher electricity prices for twenty years, with generations of South Africans bearing the brunt of this irrational and illogical decision.