In July, the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa, an independent agency that sets guidelines for media companies, ruled that several of Shells advertised claims including one that said fracking had never led to groundwater contamination were misleading or unsubstantiated and should be withdrawn.
Chris Hayward, a South African farmer, says, “If our government lets these companies touch even a drop of our water, we’re ruined.”: Photo Credit: Liaan Pretorius for The New York Times
A version of this article appeared in print on December 31, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition
By IAN URBINA
KAROO, South Africa When a drought dried up their wells last year, hundreds of farmers and their families flocked to local fairgrounds here to pray for rain, and a call went out on the regional radio station imploring South Africans to donate bottled water.
Covering much of the roughly 800 miles between Johannesburg and Cape Town, this arid expanse its name means thirsty land sees less rain in some parts than the Mojave Desert.