We object to all oil exploration off our Southern Cape coast. Immediately, we object to the latest application for oil/gas exploration rights by Sungu Sungu Petroleum (Pty) Ltd (Ghana) for a 2,500 km² portion of the 11,224 km² area known as the Pletmos Baisin (offshore, between Knysna and Jeffrey’s Bay).
In between, there is the famous Tsitsikamma National Park with iconic tourist destinations such as Nature’s Valley and Storms River. Other towns affected include Plettenberg Bay and Cape St Francis.
Remember the Kiani Satu. Imagine something far worse happening!
Last year, PASA (Petroleum Agency South Africa instructed Sungu Sungu to undertake an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment).
A company called SRK Consulting is currently fulfilling that instruction. Part of that involves public participation which doesn’t seem to have been well advertised. Plettenberg Bay’s was held last night, May 3. St Francis Bay’s is tonight, May 4, between 3pm and 6pm in the Village Hall. No meetings were called for Knysna and Jeffrey’s Bay.
The EIA was opened for comment on April 12 2017 but may also not have been well advertised since this author only heard of it now. However, comments can be made until May 16.
THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO
The EIA Report is available for public review and comment at the following locations: Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Jeffrey’s Bay public libraries, and the offices of SRK in Cape Town.
Or you can download them here:
We need to point out the harm to our coastal economy of tourism and fisheries. We need to say no to the harm to marine fauna (whales, dolphins etc) and their habitat.
3 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- Sign the petition.
- Share this website page on your social media or share the Facebook post.
- This is very important yet many people won’t. Please do, it’ll only take a few minutes. Register as an interested or affected party by emailing Wanda Marais of SRK Consulting – firstname.lastname@example.org. Supply your full name, telephone number and email address. Specifying that your preferred method of notification is via e-mail. State if you have any direct business, financial, personal, or other interest in the application. You have no interest, simply state: “My only interest in the application is as an objector”. Then provide reason/s for your objection.
REASON TO OBJECT #1 – SEISMIC BLASTING
There is danger to a 3D Seismic Survey.
This project proposes 1-3 months of seismic blasting.
The only reason why a company would invest so much money into it is because they hope for the result of building oil platforms off our coast.
Ecological impacts of seismic exploration include threats of injury to: Cape Rock Lobster, 3 globally threatened species of turtles, squid, numerous fish species, sea-birds, seals, and many species of whale and dolphins. Some may be able to swim away from the seismic airguns but others suffer death, infertility, loss of balance, deafness, bubble sickness, loss or displacement from habitat, disruption of communications, and even mass strandings have been recorded.
REASON TO OBJECT #2: ECONOMIC IMPACT
Tourism: This coastline attracts large numbers of visitors annually. Several towns are tourist-based economies i.e. nothing is more important than tourists here for our natural wonders. The industry employs thousands of locals in National Parks, accommodation, services, transport, food production & distribution, real estate, ocean & land tours.
Offshore Oil exploration, drill rigging, production, associated shipping and pollution will depreciate the area, thereby diminishing its attractiveness, harming local industries e.g. just West of Pletmos, in Voorbaai/Hartenbos, there is up to 1m of fuel floating in the groundwater which PetroSA has not remediated in 8yrs!
Fishing: The area has a fishing economy generated by squid, Cape Rock Lobster and line fish. Threats of reduced catches, behavioural changes, displacement, loss of habitat, disruption of spawning and the increase of predation are some of the direct impacts of the exploration. That’;s just regards the seismic survey. That doesn’t yet consider the future impact of oil production, should reserves be found.
THERE’S A BETTER WAY
Ivan Keir, the founder of the petition, states that, “This project is undesirable, unsustainable, and incompatible with the regions’ existing economy and its praised marine habitat & fauna. The oil and gas industries are more likely to do damage to the local economy and marine environment than benefit anyone other than Sungu Sungu and its associates.”
Keir says that there’s a better way to deal with our oceans. “Less than 5% of our coastal waters are protected from oil exploration, the rest open to prospecting. Let’s rather make Pletmos a Marine Protected Area, helping to create a balance of our resources, for a sustainable future for all South Africans.”