DFFE notes concerns about seismic surveys to be conducted along South African coastline

22 November 2021

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has noted concerns about the seismic surveys to be conducted by Shell and Impact Africa Limited off the coast of South Africa between December and February 2022.

The impact of the seismic survey to be undertaken by Shell and Impact Africa has been authorised under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002), (MRPDA) which under section 39(2) of the Act requires the submission of an environmental management plan which is to assess and evaluate the environmental impacts of the activity.

The Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy is the Minister responsible for the administration of the MPRDA, the Minister responsible for environmental affairs is, therefore, not mandated to consider the application or to make a decision on the authorisation of the seismic survey.

It should be noted that since the coming into effect of the One Environment System on 8 December 2014, the application process for the seismic surveys was finalised. All decisions made under the MPRDA at the time remain valid and binding until set aside by a court of law.

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