Fracking in a fractured environment: Shale gas mining and institutional dynamics in South Africa’s young democracy

Full Title:

Fracking in a fractured environment: Shale gas mining and institutional dynamics in South Africa’s young democracy


Author: Doreen Atkinson
Publication: The Extractive Industries and Society 5 (2018) 441–452
Date: November 2018


Abstract

This paper situates the question of shale gas mining in South Africa within broader debates on policy co-ordination within governmental systems. The prospect of shale gas mining has posed severe challenges for the complex inter-governmental system in South Africa. Three key Departments are affected by possible shale gas mining: Mineral Resources, Environmental Affairs and Water Resources. Each of these Departments have different relationships with the provincial and municipal “spheres of government”. The Department of Mineral Resources has attempted to promote shale gas mining with no reference to municipalities, whereas the other two Departments have attempted to build up municipal capacity. Municipalities have key functions which are protected in the Constitution. However, many municipalities are weak institutions, unwilling to defend their powers. The paper examines Municipal Integrated Development Plans in the potential shale gas region. Most municipalities seem to have no awareness at all of the shale gas issue. Recently, a High Court ruled that any shale gas mining regulations must be made by the Department of Environmental Affairs. With its more decentralist approach to governance, it will mean that municipalities will have more opportunities to participate in shale gas mining decisions.

Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214790X18301047, or contact the author at doreen@karoofoundation.co.za.

Click here to download document



Governance, Mining and energy, Prof Doreen Atkinson and tagged