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Global anti-fracking day rally – Invitation to attend

From: michael wentworth <[email protected]>
Subject: Global anti-fracking day rally – Invitation to attend
Date: 12 July 2012 10:15:59 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]

Good morning

The 28th of July is Global Ant-Fracking Day and the village of Nieu-Bethesda is hosting a series of events to oppose hydraulic fracturing.

At 5pm there will be a rally which will be addressed by Johnathan Deal (Treasure the Karoo Action Group), Doug Stern (Karoo Farmer & part of a delegation that visited the USA), Derek Light (Karoo Attorney and activist); Kevin Watermeyer (the Sneeuberg Emerging Farmers Association) and Marina Louw (Climate Justice Campaign).

I would hereby like to invite a representative from Shell to answer questions from the community.

I thank you

Michael Wentworth


The 28th of July is GLOBAL ANTI-FRACKING DAY. Despite ongoing media coverage many South Africans still do not know what Hydraulic Fracturing is and are unaware of the threat that it poses to the environment and the livelihoods of many already under-resourced communities in an exploration area that covers almost one-fifth of South Africa’s territorial surface.

Shell South Africa has applied for exploration rights for 90 000km2 of the ecologically sensitive Karoo – virtually its entirety. The village of Nieu-Bethesda falls within this area and is unique in that it has no petrol station, no tarred roads and no street lights. Situated in a valley in the Sneeuberg Range, 1500 meters above sea level and overshadowed only by the Compassberg which at 2400 meters towers imperviously above the arid expanse of the Great Karoo, “where the land meets the sky”. The village is where you will find Helen Martin’s world famous Owl House and where the celebrated playwright, Athol Fugard lived while he wrote The Road To Mecca.

The future of countless little Karoo towns like Nieu-Bethesda will be in danger of extinction as water contamination, environmental degradation and the inevitable loss of livelihoods in a fragile regional economy that is largely sustained by agriculture and tourism.

On the weekend of the 27th & 28th of July the village of Nieu-Bethesda will be hosting a series of events that will raise awareness about the dangers of fracking.

On Friday evening a networking meet-and-greet at the Ramstal Pub will start with the screening of the locally made documentary entitled Unearthed, which will be followed by a bring-and-braai and an informal discussion session with local stakeholders and guests.

On Saturday morning a special Village Market will take place where the colourful and creative locals buy, sell and barter a mouth watering variety and organic, homemade food and handcrafted ‘little goodies’ as well as an eclectic assortment of seconds. To book a stall, email Belinda on [email protected] by the 21st July.

On Saturday between 10.30 and 3pm, Marina Louw from the Climate Justice Campaign will conduct a workshop designed to equip interested individuals and activists with resource materials that have been developed with Earthlife Africa to educate communities about the dangers of fracking. To book your place for this free workshop, please email Marina on [email protected] before the 15th of July.

At 17.45 a pre-concert anti-fracking rally will be held at The Old Church Hall where Steve Newman and Greg Georgiades will begin their performance at 19.00.

Tickets for the concert are R100 and for more information about accommodation and bookings please call 0498411642 during office hours or email [email protected]

Related Article: Fracking fracas “unfortunate,” says Shell


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