According to Local Government Action’s website the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) is a super plan for an area that gives an overall framework for development. It aims to co-ordinate the work of local and other spheres of government in a coherent plan to improve the quality of life for all the people living in an area. It should take into account the existing conditions and problems and resources available for development. The plan should look at economic and social development for the area as a whole. It must set a framework for how land should be used, what infrastructure and services are needed and how the environment should be protected.

“Does your IDP reflect your needs as small-scale fishing communities?” is an important questions CLSA leaders are starting to ask, implementing the new strategic approach to the challenges they face in their livelihoods, which includes engaging with local government institution, such as Municiplaities. Indeed, if small-scale fishing is not included in the IDP, that is a sign that the local government is not planning to take any action to support the developmental needs of the local fishing communities. In that case, the local Coastal Links branch, with the support of the Provincial Executive Committee and MDT fieldworker, should engage its Municipality.

At the KZN Coastal Links Provincial Meeting in September, the Coastal Links leaders resolved to embark on a campaign to raise awareness about the IDP and the need for fishers to ensure that their IDP processes include them and reflect their needs. In their meeting on the 23rd October, attended by their Councillor, an Induna and an official from the Dept of Agriculture, the Mazambane community resolved to attend the IDP Review meeting to be held in Manguzi at the Tribal Council in order to protest the failure of their local government to adequately include them in the IDP. Fishers from other municipalities have also expressed their disappointment and amazement that their municipalities have not accommodated them.  Small-scale fishers from Matubatuba Municipality were shocked to hear that their IDP fails to mention them and promotes a policy of “catch and release” instead. Fishers from St Lucia drafted a letter to their Mayor, Municipal Manager and LED officer asking that they engage with the fishers and ensure that the IDP Review incorporates their needs.

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