Ensuring equitable community involvement in Total Energy’s offshore gas drilling project
17 November 2023
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy has received a number of emails from community members and public interest organisations regarding their concerns with the process that is underway in relation to the application that has been submitted by Total Energies South Africa to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) for an offshore production right and associated environmental authorisation for Sea Concession Block 11B/12B.
These individuals and organisations are informed that the DFFE is not the competent authority over the pending applications. Under the one environmental system, the DMRE is the competent authority for applications for environmental authorisations on mining and mining related activities, whilst Minster Creecy, in her capacity as the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is deemed the appeal authority in terms of section 43(1A) of the National Environmental Management Act, Act 107 of 1998 (as amended) (NEMA) over the decisions of the DMRE that are taken in terms of NEMA.
Considering that the application for environmental authorisation that was lodged by Total Energies is still under consideration by the competent authority (DMRE), it is premature for Minister Creecy to consider the issues raised in relation thereto, at this juncture.
Please note that once the competent authority has taken a decision in relation to the application for environmental authorisation, aggrieved interested and affected parties may lodge an appeal, within the prescribed time and in accordance with the prescribed procedure, to the Directorate: Appeals and Legal Review (Appeals Directorate) at email@example.com.
In the interim, any issue of concern regarding the pending application before the competent authority must be addressed via the DMRE’s processes.
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