COASTAL Links South Africa (CLSA) continues to grow, in both membership and in setting up new branches in most of its provinces, according to Sithembiso Gwaza of Masifundise Development Trust. CLSA are active in all four provinces of South Africa, and within every region of each province.
In the Western Cape there are 22 branches in the coastal communities of the south coast, the west coast and in the Cape Town metropolitan areas.
In the Eastern Cape there are 35 branches in many of the coastal villages along the Eastern Cape coastline. KwaZulu Natal also has 35 branches in coastal villages along the coast and in the
urban areas in and around Durban. In the Northern Cape, where there are only two coastal towns, Coastal Links has branches in both Port Nolloth and Hondeklipbaai. In all, Gwaza says that CLSA have about 4 000 members throughout South Africa,
and that they are still recruiting new members, and at this stage that there are eight communities at this stage who wants to become part of CLSA, which includes Mossel Bay in the Western Cape and Benton Village in the Eastern Cape.
“We will meet with the Mossel Bay branch and also formally integrate them into Coastal Links South Africa in the year’s Annual General Meeting” said Masifundise’s Michelle Joshua.
“We are currently in talks with the leader of the community and we are yet to fully involve the community in CLSA activity” she continued.
Gwaza says that CLSA members and fishers need to get themselves ready for the implementation of the small-scale fishing policy, as that will become one of the most important issues for 2016, and fishers should not have to find themselves outside of the process.
“At the moment, Masifundise and CLSA are equipping ourselves and getting ready for the implementation of the small-scale fishing policy.” We are busy producing a manual and video on co-operatives, as our main focus will be on education, capacity building and information sharing.”
“We must make others aware; fishers must organise themselves and attend meetings to get proper and up-to-date information.”
Masifundise is also looking at involving fishers from inland communities to be of the CLSA movement. The communities of Vanderkloof in the Northern Cape are such example of the inland communities.
Currently, Masifundise is assisting Rhodes University in setting up and mobilising communities around a fisheries experimental project at the Vanderkloof Dam.