Calls to stand against oil and gas drilling off South Coast

Desmond D'sa (left) of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and Bernard Wijburg, who is against oil and gas exploration.

As officials turn to the ocean as a way of boosting the economy, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) held an oil and gas awareness workshop at Tweni Library recently to highlight the impact of offshore oil and gas exploration on the South Coast and to mobilise a team of community members who object to the drilling for oil and gas.

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SDCEA project officer Sherelee Odayar said because Sasol Africa and Eni Italian Oil Corporation intended to explore and drill for oil and gas along the South Coast, Richards Bay and Durban without notifying the public through meetings and consultations, it was important for coastal communities whose economies rely on tourism and fishing to be aware of this.

South Coasters and South Durban Community Environmental Alliance representatives at the oil and gas awareness Workshop at Tweni Library recently.

“Healthy oceans are critically important to marine life and the community. Because these animals rely on sound for many vital things, including finding food, communicating and attracting mates, drilling risks permanent damage to them and our beaches,” said Sherelee.

A few local fishermen, retired engineers and concerned community members attended the workshop and said they had no knowledge that there were plans in place to drill for oil and gas and that was one of the reasons they were against it.

Gerda Burger (left) and Anje Wijburg.

Sherelee said they wished to get the whole South Coast community, along with a few retired lawyers and scientists, on board for the meeting the alliance will have with Sasol in Durban on May 17.

“More awareness on the issue needs to be raised because we are going to file a petition. We have a team on the North Coast and Durban that is against this. Now we are putting emphasis on the South Coast because its beautiful coastline is in danger,” said Sherelee.

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  AUTHOR
Ntandoyenkosi Dlamini
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