Protests against Shell’s exploration plan along the Wild Coast are gaining momentum, with growing calls to boycott the multinational at the pumps.
Shell recently made public its plan to start a seismic survey for oil and gas along SA’s sensitive Wild Coast from December 1, with government approval.
The announcement has drawn widespread public outrage and ignited a petition campaign to stop the survey.
Oceans Not Oil, which describes itself as the public’s voice against offshore oil and gas development, has been driving the campaign.
The week of protests kicked off in Cape Town when the Amazon Warrior, the ship commissioned by Shell to conduct the survey, arrived on Sunday.
Oceans Not Oil says the government’s Operation Phakisa, which focuses on unlocking the economic potential of SA’s oceans, is driving Shell’s exploration.
The government believes Operation Phakisa could contribute up to R177bn to GDP by 2033 and create between 800,000 and 1-million direct jobs.
The department of forestry, fisheries and the environment in a recent statement noted concerns about the seismic surveys to be conducted by Shell and Impact Africa off the coast of SA between December and February 2022.
“The impact of the seismic survey to be undertaken by Shell and Impact Africa has been authorised under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) which under section 39(2) of the act requires the submission of an environmental management plan which is to assess and evaluate the environmental impacts of the activity.
“The minister of minerals resources and energy is the minister responsible for the administration of the MPRDA, the minister responsible for environmental affairs is, therefore, not mandated to consider the application or to make a decision on the authorisation of the seismic survey.