Marchers protest against fracking
A small group of protesters gathered in front of the Dutch Reformed Church in Church Street on Friday to object to plans for fracking in the Greater Karoo.
The protesters were mostly activists from Nieu-Bethesda and received a “warm welcome” from motorists driving by.
A spokesperson from the Green Connection, Neville van Rooy, said the protest was to show the government that people would not let fracking destroy the environment.
“The people of South Africa need to understand and take note of the threat of fracking,” Van Rooy told Graaff-Reinet Advertiser.
Fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressures to release natural gases, and has been banned in several countries.
Fracking plans have sparked a battle between the government and farmers, as well as conservationists. Van Rooy said they are worried about “fracking activities” next to the airport in Beaufort West. “There’s a lot going on but nobody seems to know what exactly is happening there. Everything is shrouded in a mystery. They have a vested interest in the land they farm and they should be consulted about future fracking plans. We are not only talking about well-established farmers but also emerging farmers who would struggle to cope with the negative side-effects that fracking can cause to their farming operations.
“A lot of farmers are extremely disappointed about being kept in the dark about future fracking plans.”
Van Rooy said fracking would pollute land, contaminate water and threaten the health of residents.
“We are planning another protest march in Beaufort West on 27 September to hoist our dissatisfaction with the government’s fracking plans.”