South Africa: Total's Recoil and the Struggle to Save the Earth

opinion

For the Global South, livability is tied to resource accessibility and opportunity, in that order. In Mozambique, Total's espousing of gaseous opportunity - as a figment towards reconciliation for decades of class exploitation - was perhaps a gamble that spurned them completely.

Certainly, it seems strange that within the same month (13th April 2021), TOTAL E&P South Africa B.V (Tepsa) decided to postpone their application for additional drilling and associated activities in Block 11B/12B off the coast of George, Knysna and Mossel Bay.

While South Africa's marine life may be jubilant, through ignorance, environmental and social activists remain cautious. What could Total's pull-out indicate?

Has Total abandoned its interests in South Africa?

Perhaps the most pessimistic, but most probable path, is that Total is merely strategising in their assault of Africa's natural resources. A bit of greenwashing here, some Corporate Social Responsibility platitudes there and a dash of time will make the petroleum giant seem a darling again before long.

With each unfurling socio-economic crisis, the government will pay Total's antics in the Agulhas less attention and the pay-off will be immense when their drillships slither back to the East Coast.

We know it is not over yet for the...

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