On 17 January 2022 the portfolio committee on mineral resources began their nationwide public participation hearings on the Gas amendment Bill of the 2001 in the Eastern Cape. The first leg of these public hearings took place in Ncumisa Khondlo hall in Peddie.
According to the portfolio committee the Gas Amendment Bill aims to enhance the regulatory framework for the gas industry and promote black economic empowerment. It also aims to facilitate the development of the gas infrastructure by encouraging private sector participation and investment.
Small-scale fishing communities in the Eastern Cape have heavily criticised and rejected these hearings.
“These hearings were short notice and we were not given enough time to engage with the contents of the bill. Furthermore, no transport arrangements were made for distant communities to ensure the full participation of those who will be affected by the Gas Amendment Bill. This is not how consultation should work. Having only 4 public hearings in the entire Eastern Cape will not do the consultation process justice. Many communities have been excluded from this process including mine in Port St Johns. As Port St Johns small-scale fishers we therefore reject this process until it becomes inclusive”, said Coastal Links Chairperson in the Eastern Cape, Ntsindiso Nongcavu.