News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday January 23rd 2019

Shale gas a ‘game changer’, says Minister


Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom has pledged his support for the exploitation of shale gas reserves in the Karoo.

He said the resource has “massive potential” and could be the energy “game changer” in the country.

But he warned that concerns over groundwater contamination and environmental pollution raised by lobby organisation Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) should not be dismissed.

He said shale gas might not be the “nice stuff” and more has to be done to harness renewable energies.

However, he said if shale gas could be the energy “game changer” it had been in the US, then it should be exploited.

Addressing leaders at the Accelerate Cape Town Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, he said the country should move away from dependency on coal and should exploit other abundant resources, such as shale gas.

Outgoing Accelerate Cape Town chairman Jock McKenzie complained of a lack of economic certainty in the country, which was driving away investors.

He said the National Development Plan (NDP) needed practical implementation and measurable goals in order to succeed.

He said the education system continued to produce graduates who were unemployable.

He called on businesses and civil society to work together with government to improve the system.

In response Hanekom said there was certainty in the NDP as it had the buy-in of all political parties in the country and had been endorsed by the ruling party at its recent policy conference in Mangaung.

He said government needed honest criticism from business around its economic policies.

Government would continue to address poverty and inequality and in so doing might be seen to be creating uncertainty around economic policies.

Ruling out the nationalisation of mines and expropriation of land without compensation, he said they would continue with land reform and economic transformation policies.

He lamented a lack of sanitation in most poor neighbourhoods in the country and called on businesses to focus on creating opportunities in poor areas such as Khayelitsha. – Francis Hweshe




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