United in the Fight Against Fracking
18 November 2018 - We the people and organisations from the Karoo met from the 16th - 18th November in the Wilderness to discuss our response to the increased push for fracking in South Africa. We were joined by community people from throughout South Africa and international and national NGOs.
We remember the families that have lost loved ones in the October 2018 fires in the George area. We recognise that the severity of these fires, like the ones in California are because of climate change. We also recognise that despite this reality, the South African government, and the Ministry and Department of Environmental Affairs continue to facilitate the extraction of fossil fuels, despite the overwhelming evidence and call by various international bodies such as the International Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency that we need to get to zero carbon emissions urgently.
We recognise that we have come a long way since Steytlerville in 2012, when we the people of the Karoo supported by the Support Centre for Land Change (then known as the Southern Cape Land Committee) met with community people from throughout South Africa. From the coal fields in Mpumalanga, the oil refinery area in south Durban, the petrochemical area in the Vaal, the mine areas in Gauteng, together with national and international NGOs, people stood in solidarity with the people of the Karoo. We said NO TO FRACKING and YES to transformative development determined by the people of the Karoo through meaningful participation.
In 2013 we met again in the Karoo and launched the “Black Thursday Land Campiagn - Mawubuye umhlaba wethu” which was clear: “Don’t Frack with The Karoo”.
In 2015 we revisited our positions, further educated ourselves, linked with local community people challenging fracking in The Netherlands and we once again confirmed our position of NO TO FRACKING and we committed to push for alternatives which foster food and energy sovereignty including renewable energy and agro-ecological food production.
In 2016, we together with community people from KwaZulu Natal, with local government, local traditional leaders, political representation from National Parliament, national NGOs we gathered in solidarity with the people of Matatiele challenging proposed fracking on their lands and we reaffirmed that our lives and livelihoods are supported by the ecosystems we are destroying, so we will do all it takes to safeguard them for future generations. We said NO to exploration and extraction.
In October 2018, we the people from the Karoo, KwaZulu Natal, the Vaal and international and national NGO’s met in south Durban in solidarity with the south Durban community challenging offshore gas exploration. We said no more fossil fuel exploration, no more coal mines, oil and gas wells and no more associated development such as pipelines, refineries and coal power stations.
Our vision is where we live in harmony with each other and the earth, and the home, community and youth is our bedrock upon which we build a democratic, inclusive and fossil free society and where:
People receive fair remuneration for engaging in productive and creative livelihoods, where the work they do is not demeaning or exploitative but is safe, rewarding and secure;
Communities enjoy decent levels of affordable basic services and infrastructures to be enjoyed by all in society as a basic human right – and not only by ‘consumers’ who can afford them;
Individuals and families are able to access, at minimum, the basic goods of human life starting with the most basic levels of goods like nutritious food, and safe and comfortable accommodation and energy that is affordable and socially owned;
There are clean healthy environments where people live and work that are nurtured by the very way in which people live and work; and
Government is accountable to the people.
We then state the following:
- We say no to extractives, privatisation of renewable energy, to profits over people, to capitalism, racism and patriarchy.
- We want a South Africa without fracking. We want a world without fracking. We want a life without fracking.
- We want fracking criminalised.
- We want system change - not climate change!
We hereby reaffirm our history and call for a Ban on Fracking in South Africa.
- 350. org
- Association for Rural Enhancement (AFRA)
- C40 (Cities Climate Leadership Group)
- Cooperative and Policy Alternative Centre
- Earthlife Africa
- Friends of the Earth International (FOEi)
- Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI)
- South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA)
- Vice President Wits Inala Student Forum
- WOMIN African Alliance