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For Better or For Worse – Fracking in the Rustic Karoo

Source:  Copyright 2013, Inter Press Service
Date:  November 25, 2013
Original URL: Status ONLINE

To the casual passer-by, Petrus Kabaliso and his wife Cynthia present a disarmingly rustic sight, seated as they are under the shade of a date palm at a truck stop in the scorching Karoo desert, in South Africa`s Northern Cape province, a battered umbrella held jauntily over their heads.

"We find it very hard to live here," Petrus, 59, tells IPS. "We find old metal, and sometimes the trucks that stop here leave bottles in the rubbish. We can change this for money, and buy pap [maize meal porridge] and sugar."

Colesburg is more prosperous than many little Karoo towns. Trucks and cars ferrying people from up country to the coast make regular use of it as a stopover. Bed-and-breakfasts line the streets, with vacancy signs on display. But its wealth is relative: like most towns in the Karoo, the very lack of economic prospects is what has kept it away from the attention of developers.

But all this could change. There are plans to exploit ...

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