A TALE WITHOUT A MORAL.
Copperton was a small mining settlement about 60km South West of Prieska, near to the heart of the Karroo.During the summer months it is as hot as hell and during winter, cold with gusting winds leaving one gasping. The copper mine came into full production in 1973. A real quiet village in the middle of nowhere. I and family arrived there in 1974 and worked on the mine.Copperton had everything one would need in a small isolated hamlet. There was a post office. A small supermarket a well equipped garage that charged a fortune for practically everything. A fully equipped primary school., a recreation club without an off- sales. (Sadly). The village had about 100 houses, all well built and large. The draw back was you had to drive 120 k’s to collect a six pack in Prieska. The lack of a liquor outlet was due to a monopolistic attitude of the Anglo Vaal owned mine. When one requires booze then it was just a few meters away - You car. Normally arrangements were made with friends that if someone went to Prieska then they would take orders for who wanted what where. Usually the bottle store was highest on the agenda and booze was imported by the case. The mine ran a well attended recreation club. The mine provided a bus service once a month to Prieska, Upington or De Aar to assist the women folk to do their monthly shopping. What was memorable about Copperton was the wind throughout the year: One remembers it because it was ever present. Over the years Copperton had the usual ups and down in production, mainly downs due to market fluctuations. According to Wikipedia, Copperton closed in 1991. I at the time expected it to close in the late 1980”s
Purely out of nostalgic reasons I decided to Google Copperton: Copperton did not exist any more. The Copper processing plant was flattened. Workshops. Stores. Offices everything missing. Even the large hostel where hundreds of workers were accommodated. What I could gather was the village and plant served as target practice for the military. The army, at one stage, used the underground caverns to store Ammunition. A fancy guest house is depicted on Google. Google has placed a security application (there is a better term) over the entire area to conceal the terrain and most details. The ground in the area is pocked with black marks which seem to be craters. These “craters” also extend to what was the plant. I had known some years earlier that the place was “bombed” but have since received no concrete verification. Would appreciate it if anyone who has any info in this regard let me know.
ESCOM is planning to take our tax and build a wind farm more-or-less where Copperton is, All the infrastructure plus clean running water and sewerage systems and sewerage processing plants were in good order. Now non-existent. About 50 turbines with a capacity of 2,5 MW will be erected. Some provision must be made for service and maintenance teams with its concomitant infrastructure. Copperton was a fully fledged township with everything going for it. Now it is a ruin and must be replaced at the taxpayers expense. Google: Copperton SA Karroo. Wind farm.
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