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FRACK OFF! Locals strongly oppose fracking proposal in Estcourt and Midlands areas

FRACK OFF! Locals strongly oppose fracking proposal in Estcourt and Midlands areas

Tensions ran high as agitated Midlands residents described the presentation on the environmental impact assessment as “obliteration of many lives”

A presentation at the Blue Haze Country Lodge on Monday by the Rhino Oil and Gas Exploration South African Company on its fracking proposal was met with opposition as soon as the meeting began.

Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into rocks, boreholes, etc. under the surface of the earth so as to force open existing cracks and extract oil or gas this can impact water resources, health and much more.

Tensions ran high as agitated Midlands residents described the presentation on the environmental impact assessment as “obliteration of many lives.”

Rhino Oil and Gas lodged an application for an exploration right to explore for petroleum and gas on various farms in KwaZulu Natal and the Free State.

The first application concerned areas totalling around 1.5 million hectares in KZN, Estcourt and surrounding areas included.

The area has since been reduced, but the community believe this is no victory. Farmers from Weenen, Giants Castle, and Mooi River, some farming staff, environmental organisations, business people, concerned residents, laymen and members of the Amahlubi tribe attended Monday’s meeting.

While Phillip Steyn, the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Rhino Resources delivered his presentation, he was interrupted by a question.

“Why does your visual presentation state that ‘Rhino Resources operates in South Africa as Rhino Oil and Gas Company, which primarily focus on West Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa to provide enhanced prosperity for our host countries?” asked one woman.

Mr Steyn explained that the international company has a subsidiary in South Africa.

Thereafter the crowd fired countless burning questions, some of which the presenters had no answers or refused to answer, stating that they have not reached those phases as yet.

Janet Snow said: “We object that this is forced onto us, you are using the fact that you have a local subsidiary as a disguise.”

One resident said loudly to the presenters: “We don’t want you to explore, we will stand united; all races. You are wasting your time. I have a future here; we love our communities and country. You are here to explore and then sell what you find for billions, you don’t care about any of us. You will be paid and we will suffer. We have a future here. We will stop you. We are g@tvol! This is my holy ground.”

READ THE FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S ESTCOURT NEWS