Lesle Jansen and Steph Booker of Natural Justice attended a three day meeting of the Khoi & San communities in the Eastern Cape from 28 to 30 June 2013. Set in Graaff-Reinet, the heart of the Karoo, representatives of the Khoi-San communities met to discuss issues of land claims in terms of the Restitution of land rights Act 22 of 1994 and possible impacts of fracking by Shell and other international companies in their traditionally owned and utilized territories. Supported by Treasure the Karoo Action Group, Mr Jonathan Deal and Pastor Barry Wuganaale (of the Ogoni Peoples from Nigeria) shared their views on the likely impacts of fracking on the environment (such as impacts on water sources), on the community (such as a lack of meaningful employment), and the very threats to the Khoi & San as Indigenous Peoples of South Africa.
Stephanie presented on the relevant international law and the likely impacts of fracking on the rights of the community, as well as potential methods that the community can use to identify, mobilise, strategise and advocate for their rights. Lesle provided background to the current Amendment to the Restitution of Land Rights Act of 1994 and how this is likely to impact upon the community.
At the conclusion of the meeting the participants generated a number of resolutions through which to move forward on each of the issues.