CONTROVERSIAL SEISMIC OIL AND GAS SURVEYANCE IN SOUTH AFRICA

THE EMS FOUNDATION PROBES THE HISTORIC BACKGROUND TO THE DEAL FOR DEEP-WATER SEISMIC OIL AND GAS SURVEYANCE

INTRODUCTION

South Africa is the 12th worst emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. A large South Africa delegation attended the Climate Change COP26 Conference held between the 31st October and 12th November 2021in Glasgow in the United Kingdom.  South Africa’s substantial agenda was to access international finance for investments that are needed in order for the country to transition from its  reliance on fossil fuels.

Scientists have proved that in order to keep global warming below 1.5C, to mitigate the current global climate crisis, we have to leave the vast majority of fossil fuels untouched.   

In steep contradiction to the mandate of the legally binding international treaty on climate change, the Paris Agreement, which was adopted by 196 Parties at COP21 on the 12th December 2015, South Africa has granted permission to Royal Dutch Shell to conduct deep-water seismic oil and gas surveyance of two massive offshore areas which stretch all the way from the Eastern Cape to the Mozambique maritime border. 

Climate change activists have recently won a big legal victory against oil giant Shell, who has a result been forced to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 based on 2019 levels.  Friends of the Earth International stated: “Our hope is that this verdict will trigger a wave of climate litigation against big polluters, to force them to stop extracting and burning fossil fuels.”

The administrators of South African Presidential Climate Commission and the authors of the Climate Change Bill have not, according to our research, objected to the deep-water seismic oil surveyance of two massive offshore areas which stretch all the way from the Eastern Cape to the Mozambique maritime border.

Why did the South African government choose to ignore a coalition of eight civil society groups who asked that ties be severed with Myanmar because of their continued human rights abuses? This plea, is in light of the controversial deal with the Silver Wave Energy Company, which is linked to the Myanmar regime.  A deal controversially concluded during the Zuma regime.

Diplomatic information published on WikiLeaks shows that the Silver Wave Energy Company, though registered in Singapore, has close ties to the Burmese regime. 

Questions were raised in the media in 2011 about this aforementioned deal when it was uncovered that Burma’s ambassador to South Africa provided top officials with gifts, these officials apparently included Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe.  

Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former President, has been charged with corruption linked to a 1990’s arms deal where he is accused of accepting 783 illegal payments. 

Did the present South African government examine every aspect of this controversial deal in light of the before they approved the license’s second renewal period in July 2020? 

State Capture commission of inquiry highlighted the abuse of political power in South Africa.  We have been shown that you do not have to be a politician to hold political power you can influence political developments by buying politicians. 

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