Treasure the Karoo Action Group and civil rights group AfriForum expect to have their day in court in the next couple of months to challenge the government's technical regulations on shale-gas fracking, TKAG CEO Jonathan Deal said this week. AfriForum's head of environmental affairs, Marcus Pawson, said that if the government issued exploration licences before that date, an urgent court interdict would be sought to halt the process. Since 2010, residents of the Karoo have become increasingly alarmed by the granting of large land concessions to oil companies to explore for shale gas. Exploration in the 1960s established the potential for gas trapped in layers of shale in the area, but it is only in the past decade that the US industry has advanced the technology to extract it. Fracking involves sinking deep wells through which a solution of water and toxic chemicals is injected into the shale to release the gas so it can be pumped to the surface. Three companies hold permits over lar...

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