Shell Stopped by Court, Wild Coast Seismic Survey Put on Hold Until Further Notice

Shell Stopped by Court, Wild Coast Seismic Survey Put on Hold Until Further Notice

  • The Makhanda High Court in the Eastern Cape has ruled that Shell cannot continue with its planned seismic survey of the Wild Coast
  • The purpose of the survey was for Shell's team to explore if there is oil and gas in the area, but they did not consult residents
  • The area's main economic activity is fishing, which is why it is important to preserve the marine environment there

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MAKHANDA - The Makhanda High Court in the Eastern Cape has ruled that the oil and gas multinational company, Shell, cannot continue with its planned seismic survey of the Wild Coast until the second section of the interdict has been brought before the court.

This follows a protest by Wild Coast residents, which began in November. The residents do not want Shell to damage, and possibly destroy, the natural environment while exploring for natural energy resources in the area, such as gas and oil.

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According to News24, Richard Spoor Attorneys and the Legal Resources Centre provided the residents with legal representation in their case against Shell. They also received assistance from two local civil society organisations.

Shell, seismic survey, oil, gas, natural resources, environmental issues, South Africa, Wild Coast, Makhanda High Court
The Makhanda High Court has temporarily stopped Shell from conducting its seismic survey of the Wild Coast. Image: Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The court's reason for deciding to stop Shell for the time being

Judge Gerald Bloem said in his judgment that Shell did not submit evidence to the court to oppose the protestors, who gave the court ample scientific evidence on the irreversible harm that the seismic survey could do to the Wild Coast's marine life.

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IOL reports that the residents protesting against Shell are mostly fishermen and their families who are financially dependent on the marine life being fresh and healthy. Bloem also ruled that Shell must compensate the residents' legal costs.

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Shell allegedly did not consult residents before announcing the proposed survey. The multinational also did not seek the required authorisation under the National Environmental Management Act.

South Africa reacts to Wild Coast residents' legal success against Shell

@Lisa_VonB shared:

"Having a family home off the wild coast means this victory warms my heart on another level. Energy companies are pushing so hard to rebrand within the climate crisis but are still seeking out rights to exploit fossil fuels and destroy the most beautiful, biodiverse places."

@SteveSince91 said:

@DeighKerberos remarked:

"A victory to the environment."

@GailSchimmel said:

"Wonderful news. Let's hope it remains the case."

@brettherron from the Western Cape Provincial Government shared:

Eskom faces R300bn pollution bill, consumers face continuous stage 8 loadshedding

In other environmental news, Briefly News previously reported that electricity prices are predicted to rise after Eskom faces a whopping R300 billion pollution bill.

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The power utility has successfully managed to appeal against the department of forestry, fisheries and the environment's opposition to Eskom's application to postpone air quality compliance timelines.

If the air quality measures come into place, Eskom would be forced to shut down Matimba and Medupi power stations which are running above legal limits. This would plunge South Africa into continuous stage 8 load shedding, the two power plants produce a third of the country's power.

Source: Briefly News

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