I have helped several students who are working on a project dealing with South Africa and shale gas. Sometimes this is referred to as shale oil. They need information on legal requirements, including South African laws, and economic aspects, and environmental concerns. Shale gas, shale oil, fracking or fracturing, natural gas liquid extraction, or natural gas extraction are among the keywords that can be searched. “Environmental concerns” might be described in other terms–water safety, water pollution, water quality, air pollution, etc.
Our legal databases, Lexis Nexis Academic, Westlaw Campus and Westlaw Next, do not have the South African statutes or regulations. Lexis-Nexis Academic can be searched for news articles about this issue.
South African government websites that have some policy information, as well as pending legislation, can be found at these sites:
Pending bills: http://www.parliament.gov.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=128
Department of Mineral Resources: http://www.dmr.gov.za/ (has information on policies and regulations)
Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs http://www.environment.gov.za/?q=search/node/fracking (report on fracking.)
Some databases that can be helpful, providing news, industry outlooks, include:
ABI Inform Global
Business Monitor International–search shale oil and limit to South Africa
ISI Emerging Markets–has many news articles and company reports. Limit search to South Africa.
From looking at some results, I learned that there was moratorium on development late last year, and there are recent articles about what is now being considered.
Areas of South Africa with promising shale gas deposits are in Great Karoo and Little Karoo, also called Wet Karoo.
South African publications can be located by searching Journals/Magazines. The Economist and The Financial Times can be searched for news articles.
The South African Institute of Mines and Metallurgy is available as an open access journal. There is an article about fracturing in the most recent issue: http://www.saimm.co.za/journal-papers
The Energy Information Administration for the U.S. has this report re South Africa: http://www.eia.gov/cabs/South_Africa/pdf.pdf
Link to special report on economic aspects: http://www-static.shell.com/static/zaf/downloads/aboutshell/econometrix/econometrix_report.pdf
Other resources may be found by doing a Google search.
I hope these resources are helpful.