Shell has welcomed the dismissal of the urgent application to interdict its seismic survey operation on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape.

Acting Judge Avinash Govindjee dismissed the application with costs at the Makhanda High Court.

Shell SA Chairperson, Hloniphizwe Mtolo, says they will continue engaging the public about its concerns on the matter.

“We continue to be very aware of public sentiment on this and we continue to do the best that we can to assure the public, that will be extremely responsible. When we conduct this seismic survey, Shell has a long history of conducting such survey, everything that we do, with the utmost care for the environment and taking into account the marine life. And we have to deal with that in the oceans and otherwise.”

Hloniphizwe Mtolo, Country Chair Shell South Africa on the court decision:

The urgent application for the interim interdict was filed by two NGOs and two sportfishing clubs.
The groups argued that the exploration activities Shell applied for are unlawful and affected parties were not given an opportunity to appeal the exploration right.
Questions around environmental damage were also raised.
Shell argued that all approvals are in order for it to continue and delaying the project now will amount to huge financial losses for Shell who has invested in the preparation already.
The company also said that there is no evidence that the surveys affect marine life negatively as is demonstrated by the vast number of similar surveys that have been conducted over the past five years around the globe.

Greenpeace Africa, the Border Deep Sea Angling Association and the Kei Mouth Ski Boat Club were the other applicants in the interdict application against Shell.

The Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager at Greenpeace, Happy Khambule, says the court decision will have a negative impact.

“The decision to allow Shell to continue with this plans to destroy the world caused is disappointing. To say the least, not only will plastic destroy precious biodiversity ecosystems. But you do also destroy the livelihoods of communities who depend on these ecosystems for their livelihood. All in the name of profit. Greenpeace Africa will continue to support the nationwide resistance. I can share and pursue the legal avenue to stop Shell.”

The application was dismissed with costs.
Furore around Shell’s plans continues: