The Dargle Conservancy opposes, on ecological, health, social, and economic grounds, the use of hydrological fracturing techniques (Fracking) to recover natural shale gas. Specifically, the Dargle Conservancy believes that the risk of contamination of groundwater in an already water-stressed environment is simply unacceptable. Despite assurances from potential extractors that the technique is safe, evidence of failed safety measures and resultant contamination is increasingly common in areas where fracking has been approved.

Please note that this page is no longer being updated. For current information on fracking in the KZN Midlands and elsewhere please visit the Frackfree South Africa website.


The Midlands of KwaZulu Natal is considered an area of interest for potential extraction of shale gas using Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking).   Two Technical Co-operation Permits (TCP) have been issued for KZN. The Sungu Sungu TCP includes areas between Giants Castle and Rosetta, as well as Estcourt, Bergville and along the edge of the Berg, Dannhauser and into the Free State. The Rhino Oil & Gas TCP includes areas around Richmond, Eston, Pietermaritzburg, Hilton, Howick, Karkloof, Balgowan, Dargle, Kranskop, Weenen and as far north as Vryheid. These concessions are in the areas where our rivers start. Rhino Oil & Gas has now initiated an Environmental Assessment Process which must be undertaken prior to the commencement of prospecting activities.

The Rhino Oil & Gas exploration area
KZN fracking map  

The Dargle Conservancy is located within the uMgungungdlovu District Municipality and within a National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Area.   In order to verify the amount of shale gas present in the Midlands and its viability as an energy source, prospecting will need to take place.  This activity has the potential to affect groundwater quality as it requires hydraulic fracturing techniques.  EAP consultation meetings have now been scheduled by Rhino Oil & Gas.




Rhino Oil & Gas application

General Resources

MCF and River Walk Blogposts


View and download our collection of anti-fracking graphics here.