Protest on Fracking, Cape Town, 31/10 & 03/11

Protest at 18th AFRICA OIL WEEK, Waterfront, Cape Town.
At access roads to the Waterfront: (corner of Coen Steytler
&Buitengracht, corner of Portswood&  Beach)
Time: 7h30 – 10h00, on Mon 31 Oct and Thu 3 Nov.

A group of concerned Capetonians, in partnership with the NPO Climate
Justice Campaign, have called for a protest at the 18th Africa Oil
Week taking place at the Waterfront from 31 October to 4 November. At
the Africa Oil Week, various heads of state, multinational oil and gas
companies and other interested parties will discuss such topics as
‘The Scramble for Africa’ and ‘Africa’s Oil and Gas Future’, including
shale gas developments.

The group will stage a peaceful protest at various access roads to the
Waterfront, on Monday 31 Oct and Thursday 3 Nov, to send a clear
message to the delegates, the SA government and fellow citizens, that
we cannot simply continue with ‘business as usual’.

“While our fossil-fuel based economy has brought our civilisation this
far, it is now time to head in a new direction, or face a total system
collapse”, says Marina Louw of Climate Justice Campaign. “With climate
change, the world is teetering on the brink of the worst calamity
mankind has ever faced, and the time for fossil fuels is now over.
Ordinary citizens are demanding a just transition to a sustainable,
green economy, based on truly renewable sources of energy.”

“Our current model of consumer-driven economic growth, which is
largely based on fossil fuel, is unsustainable” says Phillip Newmarch,
an architectural consultant and environmentalist from Cape Town.  “We
are living beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.
There are limits to growth and if we do not transform our society and
economy, we face a synchronized, related crash of the economy and the

In particular, the group is deeply opposed to the proposed hydraulic
fracturing (fracking) in large parts of South Africa. “Introducing
shale gas into our energy mix is not compatible with our commitments
to mitigate climate change. Shale gas is still a fossil fuel, it is
not renewable and the process of fracking is an immensely carbon
intensive process,” says Louw. “Renewable technologies are available
that will yield quicker returns, create many jobs and stimulate the
economy at a local level and we demand that our government
aggressively pursue these alternatives instead.”

“James Leape, the director-general of WWF International, has warned
that relying on gas is not a bridge but a threat to the development of
renewable energy. According to Leape, ‘if we build the future economy
on shale gas, we will have lost the fight to control ¬climate change’
”, reiterates Louw.

“Governments in other parts of the world have struggled to regulate
the booming fracking industry, with devastating environmental and
health consequences, resulting in a growing backlash from local
communities, with France and other areas banning the technology. South
Africa simply does not have the regulatory capacity or expertise to
ensure that our water resources and environment will not be
compromised. We would like to see the current moratorium on fracking
licenses extended at least until 2014, when the USA EPA is due to
conclude their in-depth study on fracking.”

The group will meet on Monday 31 Oct at the corner of Coen Steytler
and Buitengracht. All are welcome.

For more information on the protest at the Africa Oil Week, please
contact [email protected], or phone one of the
following people:

Marina Louw (Climate Justice Campaign): 082-214 8888
Phillip Newmarch: 076-905 6435

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