Mantashe, Shell allowed to challenge blocked Wild Coast seismic survey at SCA


Lameez Omarjee






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he battle to block a seismic survey off the Wild Coast will now go to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Netwerk24/Lulama Zenzile

A high court has granted Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and oil and gas company Shell leave to appeal a ruling that blocked a seismic survey off the Wild Coast, at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

The judgment was delivered by the Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda, on Tuesday morning, following a hearing on 28 November.

Wild Coast communities had launched the court application last year to stop a proposed seismic survey. The Makhanda High court had eventually set aside the minister’s decision to grant an exploration right to Impact Africa (which was later transferred to Shell) and its subsequent renewals.

The court had noted procedural issues in the granting of the exploration right – especially regarding inadequate consultation processes with the affected communities from the Wild Coast. But Mantashe and Shell sought to challenge this.

READ | Mantashe, lobby groups face off in high court in Shell seismic survey appeal bid

In his papers, Mantashe argued that leave to appeal should be granted because it raises novel issues of law and an appeal has reasonable prospects of success, News24 previously reported.

Another key argument from Shell is that the Wild Coast communities did not exhaust all internal remedies – in other words, appeal the decision to grant the exploration right to the minister – before approaching the court for intervention.