Fishing communities joined in protests at Absa branches on 3 September, calling on the bank to stop funding extractive activities such as oil and gas mining and karpowerships on their shores.

The Green Connection partnered with Coastal Links South Africa, taking their message to Absa branches in Graaff-Reinet, Knysna and Langebaan.

The protestors made a unified clarion call for Absa and other financial institutions to stop funding such ventures and demanded more deliberate investment into renewable energy.

“We are here today to hold a peaceful demonstration and to send a clear message to ABSA and other banks to recognise the value of their local clients by not funding Karpowerships. We don’t want any development in our oceans anymore. We don’t want any more empty or broken promises. We say no more!”, said Saldanha Bay fisherwoman Carmelita Mostert.

We need intentional investment into renewable energy that will not harm coastal land and waters.

“Small-scale fishing communities continue to suffer as a result of an aggressive movement towards the extractive activities of Operation Phakisa. The growth of the blue economy will be at the detriment of fishing communities. We must prioritise the livelihoods of small-scale fishers as well as the health of coastline,” said Sibongiseni Gwebani from Masifundise.