Mantashe said on Tuesday his department would not withdraw the license.
Environmentalists had mobilised the people of the Eastern Cape against the Shell survey.
“They mobilise you to say you don't want all of that [the Shell survey] because you love your butterflies, you love your mountains and your grass, so this must stop. That is what you are saying. If the Eastern Cape remains that way, that we don't develop, this is our second Nongqawuse.
“Here all of us, we are victims of a prophecy that said we must kill our cattle and we will be wealthy. How are you going to be wealthy when you have killed the cattle?" he asked.
If Shell was chased away the company would go to other countries.
“This province has to develop. We are not going to withdraw that license for the survey for oil.”
He promised further development in Kouga which would make the province a gas hub in SA.
If the people of the province rejected Shell they would be left behind, because development went where it was wanted.