By Naadiya Adams
Environmental activists are not sitting quietly back while petroleum giant Shell is doing its 3D seismic survey along the Wild Coast.
Shell is facing another urgent interdict by the second batch of environmental organizations, in an attempt to halt the survey. This time, the application is being brought forward by the groups Amadiba Crisis Committee and Sustaining the Wild Coast.
In an interview with Radio Islam, the Amadiba Crisis Committee’s Cromwell Sonjica says they have laid a second urgent application as they have seen the urgency and the need for the voice of the community to be heard.
“There was no public consultation that were done before and the community and the people on the ground as Amadiba we were not involved, we were not informed what was happening, we just see this from the media,” explained Sonjica.
Sonjica’s calls are joined by dozens of environmentalists who have denounced Shell’s bid for a seismic survey of South Africa’s West Coast, he described the importance of the ocean as an integral source of life and believes it should be protected.
Protestors have been out in full force along the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape shores echoing their stance against the seismic activity.
The protest comes as a court ruling by the Makhanda High Court that recently gave Shell the go-ahead to proceed with its seismic activity off the Wild Coast.
Prior to the court ruling, four organizations including Greenpeace Africa, Natural Justice, the Border Deep Sea Angling Association, and the Kei Mouth Ski Boat Club, filed an urgent interdict to halt the survey.
The court however found that the applicants had failed to convince the court that there was a reasonable apprehension of “irreparable harm” if the interdict was not granted and in light of the financial and other prejudices to Shell if the seismic surveys were delayed, the “balance of convenience” was in Shell’s favour.
Meanwhile, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says that there’s no evidence to support the notion that seismic surveys cause harm to marine life.
“Seismic surveys have been undertaken for decades globally in the search of oil and gas… Seismic surveys are not an explosion or blast in the ocean reported by some in the media. It is compressed air,” he said.
“The potential impact of this to marine life has been studied over a long time and there is no conclusive evidence globally that seismic surveys cause harm to marine life.”
Amadiba lawyers are set to go to court on December 14th.