“Do you know what fracking the Karoo is like?” demanded Esme Senekal of Somerset East. The people from Royal Dutch Shell and their consultants didn’t reply, their faces impassive.
“It’s like you coming and drilling holes in our mother, and then leaving us to look after her and take her to hospital. Leave the Karoo alone!
“This is the last piece of holy nature in this country. No money is worth this. You can’t replace pristine nature with money.”
The surrounding sunburnt Karoo farmers, not a group usually given to high emotion, loudly applauded her.
The public meeting, organised by Shell’s consultants, Golder Associates (slogan: “Engineering Earth’s development, protecting Earth’s integrity”), was held at the Somerset East Town Hall, and started with a prayer to protect God’s creation, nature.
Most of the attendees bowing their heads were farmers who face the possibility of losing everything if, heaven forbid, shale gas is found under their farms – or for that matter, anywhere in the Karoo.
See: Aragom Eloff. Ivo Vegter vs. the Fracking Fringe. 2011-04-18.
See: Donald Paul. Drill Baby Drill. 2011-04-18.
See: Lewis Pugh. Frack Off, Shell!. 2011-04-05
See: Robert Brand. South Africa Endorses Plans For Karoo Gas-Drill Freeze, Ending Shell Hopes - Bloomberg. 2011-04-21.