Shale gas drilling in the Karoo is expected to start by 2017.
This follows a statement by Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan that his department is poised to assist affected municipalities with meeting the necessary infrastructure requirements and related services to hydraulic fracturing.
One of the companies seeking to explore for shale gas, Royal Dutch Shell, has expressed concern that it has taken South Africa six years to grant licences, adding that it now expects them to be granted next year.
Shell spokesperson Jan-Willem Eggink says he expects wells to be dug north of Beaufort West and west of Sutherland and Murraysburg.
South African companies are holding a roundtable discussion to explore the possibility of natural gas as an alternative source of energy
Meanwhile, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) says oil and gas exploration or fracking could create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Shell and Sacci are in agreement that government should prioritise fracking exploration in order to support energy diversification. The two believe that this would support energy diversification and economic growth.
South African companies are holding a roundtable discussion to explore the possibility of natural gas as an alternative source of energy.
Sacci's senior policy consultant, Pietman Roos says fracking will help ease the countries energy crisis. Fracking is the process of fracturing rock by pumping pressurised liquid deep into the ground to extract natural gas trapped in shale layers.