Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 12 November 2015 – The Drakensberg and KwaZulu Natal Midlands is the water factory for millions of people in the south eastern half of South Africa.

An American owned company, Rhino Oil & Gas, has applied for a prospecting license for the already water stressed areas of Matatiele, Richmond, Eston, Pietermaritzburg, Hilton, Howick, Karkloof, Balgowan, Dargle, Kranskop, Weenen, Nkandla and Vryheid. Public Meetings take place in November 2015, so we have to act fast! 

The area includes the Umzimvubu Catchment, which is earmarked for extensive water supply investment under the National Development Plan. Why is Minister Mokonyane not taking a stand to prevent contamination of water resources? 

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has unknown long term impacts on human and animal health through exposure to the chemicals used in the process. Groundwater may become contaminated. Fracking requires about 20 million litres of water for each drill site. Few people will have access to the skilled job requirements, and thousands of rural people may be adversely affected through compromised health and farming. We need renewable energy, not short term fossil fuel extraction at the expense of our water and well being. Sustainable farming generates better returns for longer periods for more people, with limited adverse impacts, than fracking can ever offer.

Please click here to sign the petition - If you drink water, you must sign now!

Click here to view a video of a recent meeting between Rhino Oil & Gas, SLR Consulting and the community around Lion's River