Chapter 1- Late 1990’s
This is the South African Broadcasting Corporation, and here is the news read by, Lisa Labuscagne, The South African Government are making arrangements to have fodder and other feed stuffs sent to the draught areas of the North and North Western Cape, Western Transvaal, and large parts of the Western Orange Free State.
Hardly any rain has fallen in this region over the past two years, which has resulted in insufficient grazing for live stock.
Statistics given by the Weather Bureau in Pretoria state that below average rain fall for the entire area has been declining at an approximate rate of seven per cent over the last ten years, and no end to the draught is in sight.
The State President has put plans into action to be lead by a team of select Government Officials and Farmers representatives, to get all the help required to alleviate the plight of the people living……………
Ben switched off the radio and went to meet is guests who were soon to arrive; Ben, short for Benson was in his late twenties about six feet, medium built with fair hair. and is at present the National Sales Manager for a large engineering firm selling equipment to the mines.
He was on the veranda of his house on a ten acre plot about nineteen miles North of Johannesburg, ready to meet his first guest.
As the guests arrived he introduced himself to those he had not met.
‘Please go through to the front room’ he said, ‘and introduce yourselves to the others and I will be in shortly’.
After all the guests had arrived he then went into the lounge.
‘Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and children’ he said, ‘my name is Ben Mills and this is my wife Katharine, Thank you for coming, I’m sure you are wondering what this all about’.
One or two of the guests showed a little annoyance, but waited to see what was on sale.
Ben seamed to have read their minds.
‘There will only be one idea sold here tonight’ he said, ‘and that is how to protect our future, there is no need to explain the severe drought we have been experiencing in South Africa, and for matter in many parts of the world’.
‘Let me quickly give you an outlay of the water situation in South Africa’ he went on, ‘approximately eighty per cent of water used in urban areas is recycled, you may be under the impression that recycled water, for want of a better word is’ safe’ but this is not the case, each time water passes through the purification system it brings back with it a miniscule amount of impurities that over time compound’.
‘What impurities are we talking about’ asked Ann Hobbs, ‘but surly with all the chemicals used the water is clean’.
‘There are many people in the country using some sort of drug at one time or other’ said Ben, ‘and this is what I am talking about,……. you cannot eradicate every little bit, something is going to get trough, and in time you’ll have no need to go to your pharmacy for your prescription just open your tap and you will get all the drugs you need’.
‘Or don’t need’ said Phil Collinsworth, ‘I can see the logic in that,… each time the water passes through it would be impossible for the system to clean it 100 per cent’.
‘But don’t they use chemicals to clean the water? Ann Hobbs repeated.
‘Yes’ said Ben, ‘but we are back to the same problem, chemicals to clean chemicals, the vicious circle, which in the end, water will not be fit for man or beast.
‘What about the remaining twenty per cent’ asked Mary Groves, ‘where dose that come from?
‘Rain run off and various other sources’ said Ben.
‘Moving from water’ said Ben, ‘another and more frightening thing facing us, is the hole in the ozone layer, which according to the latest findings is expanding, this will have a serious effect on our environment, resulting in global warming’.
‘Is this not hype from a few professors’ asked Phil, ‘possibly paid for by some lobbying group’?
‘That my be the case I don’t know’ said Ben, ‘however, I do believe that we can’t go on abusing our planet in the way we do, cutting down vast areas of rain forest to graze cattle just to produce a hamburger at a penny cheaper, the forests are only one of many such cases, there are lots of destruction going on every day of every year in every part of the world,… in the name of profit’.
‘The third problem facing us’ said Ben, ‘world population, which is now standing at a staggering five billion, and growing exponentially, and by the turn of the century will be over the six billion mark, but somehow I believe nature will take care of this problem, it is just a matter of time before population will outstrip food production’.
‘Right, so there we have it’ said Ben, ‘One, Water from which all life depends, Two, destruction to the planet as a result of global warming, and three over population’.
‘Now let me come to the sales pitch, which I m sure many of you are expecting’ said Ben, taking note of the different expressions. ‘Over a period of three years I have been collecting information on all present in this room tonight, with one very important goal in sight, you all fit into a specific profile. I have chosen you because each of you has a special skill or attribute, but more importantly you have a caring non-greed attitude towards life, by this I mean you will fight for what you want for your families and will not let anything get in the way, but the dividing factor is you do not do this at the expense of others or the environment, you believe in a fair society’.
‘;Facing us in the near future’ said Ben, ‘is a long period of hardship, I’m not talking about a drop in the dollar, because by that time the dollar will be worthless, I’m talking about the time when countries will be going to war over water’.
‘So the time has come’ he went on, ‘ for a select group of like minded people to get together and protect themselves against the hardships of the future, to do this we must start soon, by soon I mean within a month’.
‘What do you have in mind, an island or something’ asked Jim Cordwood.
‘Not quite an island’ said Ben, ‘More of an island concept’.
‘Where do intent to have this island concept’? asked Simon.
‘The area I have been looking at and feel would possibly be best for our needs is in the foot hills to the north of a town called George, in the Eastern Cape, I have chosen this area for a number of reasons, foremost in the choice, is that at the moment and for some time to come we will have an adequate supply of natural and clean water’.
‘What do you propose to do there’ asked Jim, ‘start farming’?
‘Precisely’ said Ben, ‘farming and a lot more’.