South Africa: It Doesn't Add Up - Environmental Organisations Say Gas Bill Does Not Match Climate Crisis Targets


The Gas Amendment Bill, which aims to adjust the outdated Gas Act of 2001, has been criticised by environmental organisations. They believe that the bill conflicts with climate crisis targets, will have financial implications, will negatively affect vulnerable communities and gives disproportionate authority to the minister of mineral resources and energy.

In April 2021, the Gas Amendment Bill -- which sought to amend the Gas Act of 2001 (put in place to foster the development of the piped gas industry) -- was published and introduced by the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, to the National Assembly, where it is now under consideration.

The bill's stated intentions include a provision for "socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development".

However, since the bill has been open for comment (25 June), several environmental organisations have contested its claim to be sustainable, arguing that the development of the fossil fuel industry conflicts with necessary climate action and climate targets.

Attorneys from the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), on behalf of groundWork and CER, and separately the coalition of Oceans Not Oil (ONO) -- which has 25 affiliated organisations -- both submitted their comments on the bill on 30 July 2021.

Gas is not...

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