Don't believe the hype around South Africa’s offshore gas find, says Kevin Bloom

Journalist Kevin Bloom has warned against the myth that the recent gas discovery will rescue the South African economy.

Bloom wrote an in-depth piece on the Daily Maverick analysing the Brulpadda prospect off the Mossel Bay coast, which is said to be a game-changer for Mzansi.

Bloom strongly argues that the trickle-down effect of economic growth doesn't work when it comes to natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read: Total South Africa's gas discovery a game changer - Jeff Radebe

Bloom says he's seen the so-called 'commodity curse' first hand in the heart of the oil-producing Niger Delta, in South Sudan and in Central African Republic.

He adds that any potential economic benefit should not come at the cost of the environment and explains that climate change is an example of market failure.

Bloom doubts that any South Africans, aside from what he calls the entrenched elite, will benefit from the gas find.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2012 found that [the trickle-down effect] doesn't work at all in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kevin Bloom, Author and journalist

We need six planets to, according to some of the latest estimates, keep on burning fuel the way we are.

Kevin Bloom, Author and journalist

Listen to the analysis:


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