Delegates chart the way forward for small-scale fishers

Representatives of Masifundise Development Trust and members of Coastal Links South Africa are putting in place implementation plans for the range of crucial resolutions that emerged from the 2013 Annual General Meeting.

The joint Masifundise and Coastal Links AGM, held in Cape Town from 22 to 24 April, was the first since Coastal Links launched as a national organisation in November 2012, and drew a record number of representatives from around the country.

Significant progress reports were presented to the AGM, which showed a movement making steady strides. Masifundise Director Naseegh Jaffer, some of the key achievements. They include:

  • The adoption by Cabinet of the Small-Scale Fisheries policy, following a Masifundise and CL campaign that ran for over six years.
  • The establishment of Coastal Links South Africa, incorporating Kwazulu Natal, Western, Northern and Eastern Cape provinces.
  • The establishment and growth of organisational structures in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal.
  • The consolidation of international links and the growth of a Pan African small-scale fisheries network.
  • The systematic growth of internal and external information systems and programmes that incorporate a quarterly newsletter in four languages, a website, a mass SMS system, video clips and social media such as Facebook.

Masifundise Chairperson George Monelo Bongo paid tribute to those gathered for their commitment and dedication, which had led to the growth of Coastal Links and Masifundise.

The delegates workshopped important issues for two days before the AGM, examining the relationship between Masifundise and Coastal Links and unpacking the latest fishery allocation policy.

A range of resolutions were adopted at the AGM (details on page four).

Mr Bongo was re-elected chairperson of Masifundise and Mr Peter Jones treasury. Other Board members include: Joe Ndiki, Christian Adams, chairperson of Coastal Link

Quotes on AGM from four people (one from each province)

Eg. Piet Pompies from Northern Cape described the AGM as “the most powerful in our history”. It gives us good direction for the future and we have to work together to make all our plans a reality”, he said.

Dawi Phillips from Northen Cape – “We feel that we are more intouch with fishers from other provinces – the decisions made at the AGM are important for us to think about e.g- the involvement of Masifundise with Coastal Links.– I was pleased with the AGM, and certainly we must be tackle other issues such as the Peter Cloete Fund next time we meet”

Ntombekhaya Jabavu from Eastern Cape, Port St Johns – “I gained a lot from the AGM, regarding the Draft Policy- Masifundise worked hard to help us understand what it means, the pro’s and cons, its implications and how we as small scale fishers  will be affected  by the implementation of this policy”.

Themba Mkhonto from the KZN, kosibay – “ We now see where we are as small scale fishers, and what we should do from now on. Especially us in KZN we now know that we are important, and that the youth and women should also be at the forefront of discussions that affect our livehoods”

Florina Albartyn – Western Cape, Houston “ The information that we received was important, I was not aware about the Policy but through the presentation and it being unpacked for us by the Masifundise Trust, we now can make better decisions”

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