“So it’s final. They’re going to pump toxic material into the cracks and crevasses underground to extract gas?” Gertruida sits down with a sigh, pointing at the article she’s just read.
“Jup. Starting near Grootdrink, the idea is to expand this huge national asset both North- and Southwards, over the next decade.” There’s a hint of anger in Vetfaan’s voice. “Apparently there is enough potential fuel down there to supply the country with cheap energy for the next two centuries. No more oil imports, a massive saving is foreign exchange and the possibility to push up the GDP to 8% – surpassing even that of China.”
“Come on guys! We’ll have a whole bunch of politicians who’ll queue up for handouts and shares in this gas field. Think about it: they’ll be so busy with this, they’ll do even less than they’re doing now. Not good for the country, I’d say.”
“Listen, if they start polluting our underground water – which is the only reliable source we’ve got – we might as well stop farming. I’ve seen reports about the side-effects of fracking. It’s horrendous. People and animals get sick, plants die. No amount of money can justify buggering up the eco-system. My vote is that we refuse these oil companies access to our farms. If they can’t get there, they can’t frack.”
“Forget it Vetfaan. This is the government speaking. If they say yes, you’ve got no choice. They’ll simply force you off the ground.”
And so the conversation in Boggel’s Place lapses into an uneasy silence.
That of course, is impossible. The little bar in Rolbos is not a silent place at all. Never was. Never will be.
But then, some people will believe anything, especially on April 1st.
(note: this song is not for sensitive ears)