Local farmer elected to Agri SA board
GRAAFF-REINET — Doug Stern, President of Agri Eastern Cape, was elected to serve on the Agri South Africa Board of Directors at the recent Agri SA Congress.
Members of Agri Eastern Cape, as well as Stern himself, are proud and honoured that he will be representing the interests of local farmers at the highest level of organized agriculture.
Stern was approached by the Graaff-reinet Advertiser for comment on the recent happenings regarding fracking and uranium mining in the area.
He was full of praise for the sterling work of local attorney Derek Light, who has “moved heaven and earth” to fight the fracking regulations. Stern has worked closely with Light over the past seven to eight years and is thrilled that the Department of Mineral Resources’ fracking regulations has been declared invalid.
“We have won round one against fracking” he declared. “Had it gone ahead, it would have formed a foundation of contamination of our water and land.”
He feels that the government show no respect for the environment, and even less for agriculture or food security. Two problems that stand out with both fracking and uranium mining in the Karoo are the scarcity of water and the fact that these operations would put farming in the province at risk. “Agricultural activity has been taking place in the area for over 200 years” he explained. “Why put this at risk for a short-term energy fix that would last only 20-30 years?”
The fact that all farmers and other interested parties in the Eastern Cape “stood together to keep the mining vultures at bay” gives him a great deal of satisfaction, and he is very proud of the overwhelming support received for Light and others opposing the mining and fracking operations.
Doug Stern, President of Agri Eastern Cape.