Last week Friday, 17 May 2024, in an arduous all-morning session in the Supreme Court of Appeal, advocates for Sustaining the Wild Coast, the Amadiba, Cwebe, Hobeni, Port St Johns and Kei Mouth communities, as well as Natural Justice and Greenpeace Africa, defended the finding in the Makhanda High Court that the exploration right granted to Impact Africa and Shell in 2014 to allow for oil and gas exploration, be set aside. (1) (2)

In a pivotal moment for environmental justice, the ongoing battle against Shell’s controversial drilling plans continues. With hearts and hopes aligned, Greenpeace Africa, Natural Justice and allies made a resounding statement of solidarity with the resilient communities of South Africa’s Wild Coast communities.

The appeal to review Shell’s drilling plans hung in the balance, a crucial juncture in the fight to safeguard the pristine beauty of the Wild Coast and protect its precious biodiversity.

With unwavering determination, Greenpeace Africa and Natural Justice were shoulder to shoulder with the communities whose very existence is intertwined with the land and sea. Their voices echoed with a resounding call for justice, echoing the sentiments of generations past and future.

Shell Review Appeal in South Africa. © Natanya Harrington / Greenpeace
Wild-coast community members and partner organisations from South Africa protested against Shell at the supreme court of appeal.
© Natanya Harrington / Greenpeace

In the face of corporate giants, the power of unity and purpose radiated brightly. Together, they sent a powerful message: the Wild Coast is not for sale, its natural treasures are not commodities to be exploited for profit.

As the proceedings unfolded, each argument, each counterpoint, carried the weight of generations of stewardship and reverence for the earth. It was a testament to the power of grassroots movements and the indomitable spirit of those who refuse to be silenced in the face of injustice.

“Greenpeace Africa stands in solidarity with the Wild Coast communities and all those fighting to protect our planet for future generations. The judgment which stopped Shell from drilling for oil in our oceans and destroying our Wild Coast was a powerful message that  communities must be involved in decision making and that people power works. We will continue to resist Shell’s selfishness and greed.” – Cynthia N Moyo, Greenpeace Africa Climate and Energy Campaigner 

Though the outcome of the appeal hangs in the balance, one thing remains clear: that together, we can stand against the tide of destruction and pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future, a beacon of hope in a world where environmental threats loom large.

Don’t underestimate your power!

Cynthia Moyo and Siya Myeza

1- Why Shell should not be given go ahead to explore for oil and gas off the Wild Coast
2- Shell case in supreme court of appeal