FAQs

What issues will be assessed in the SEA?
Who will assess the identified issues?
What is the primary output of the SEA?
How will stakeholders be engaged during the SEA?
How can I participate in the Shale Gas SEA?

What issues will be assessed in the SEA?

The SEA will follow a holistic approach, recognising the interconnectivity of environmental, social, and economic opportunities and constraints.
Based on existing literature and legitimate public concerns, the following Strategic Issues have been preliminarily identified as forming the scope of the assessment:

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
  • Water Resources (surface and ground water)
  • Geophysics
  • Economics
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Spatial Planning and Infrastructure
  • National Energy Planning
  • Waste Management
  • Human Health
  • Air Quality and Green House GAsses
  • Social Fabric
  • Visual
  • Noise
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Heritage Resources
  • ‘Sense of place’

Who will assess the identified issues?

Authors comprising the Multi-Author Teams within the specified Strategic Issues will undertake the assessment. The Authors will require acknowledged expertise and will be drawn from a broad range of sectors such as research institutions, government, NGOs, universities, the oil and gas sector, etc. and across different regions of South Africa to ensure a broad balance of interest is represented through the reporting structures. Download Author Team biosketches here.

Multi-authors

Diagram showing Multi-Author Team approach and how Authors and Reviewers will make contributions toward final Strategic Issues.

What is the primary output of the SEA?

The primary output of the SEA will be a Decision-Making Framework to be interpreted by the relevant authorities. This may consist of maps and spatial datasets indicating surface and sub-surface environmental sensitivity and vulnerability; frameworks and principles for Environmental Management Programs (EMPr); and best practice guidelines e.g. monitoring protocols and processes.

How will stakeholders be engaged during the SEA?

Multi-Author Team Workshops
These workshops will provide an essential engagement opportunity to discuss the approach to the assessment and gather a range of different views and perspectives. One workshop will be conducted as part of Phase 1 to develop a Draft Approach Report; and an additional two workshops will be arranged as part of Phase 2, primarily for teams to engage on the draft assessment and respond to Expert Reviews and public comments.

Briefings, Outreach and Participation
There will be two rounds of open public briefings in the study area during this SEA. One round will be undertaken after the release of the draft Scenarios, Activities and Approach Report where approximately 3 public meetings are planned within the study area. The second round of meetings will be undertaken following the release of the Draft Assessment Report as part of Phase 2. It is likely that the second round will also be conducted at the same locations as those in the first round.

The purpose of the public briefings is to engage meaningfully on issues and keep people informed of the mechanisms by which they can access information and documents, and make comments.
It should be noted that the SEA is not a project-level Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process subject to the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) regulations for public participation; it is a national level strategic assessment, which will be designed, where practically possible, to engage with as many stakeholders as possible.

Commenting on Reports
Outputs of the assessment, in report format, will be peer reviewed. Validation through a peer review process is key to ensuring the quality, and thus the credibility of the assessment. Peer review is a standard way of approving the quality of information in the scientific community.

Furthermore, the involvement of different users in the review process is desirable as it can provide a much broader range of comments, form part of the communication strategy, and contribute to ongoing user engagement in the process. In this regard, all formal comments from ‘general’ stakeholders on reports will be captured via the project website when documents are made available over certain window review periods. Official comments will be captured and responded to in a formal manner, subject to the ‘user conditions’ under which they are submitted.

How can I participate in the Shale Gas SEA?

You can participate in the SEA by registering as a stakeholder on the Stakeholder Portal page of this website (http://seasgd.csir.co.za/?page_id=173). As a registered stakeholder you are able to log in to the Shale Gas SEA website to:

  • Make official comments on the draft reports via the project website during specified Report Commenting Windows (RCWs) (these comments will be captured and responded to in the final reports); and
  • Keep up to date on project progress and key milestones.

Remember that only by logging in to the Shale Gas SEA website and submitting comments during the RCWs are you able to provide official comments which will form part of the official project report.

You can download a guide for filling out the Stakeholder registration form here.
After successful registration you will receive an email from WordPress (SEASGD@ls-amp2-dmz.csir.co.za) as confirmation. Please also check your junk/spam folder if you do not receive the Stakeholder Registration email.

 

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