Weekly Information Update
This information sheet is published every Wednesday and distributed via our database, our website and social media. It provides information on the work of Masifundise Development Trust (MDT) and Coastal Links South Africa (CLSA).
21 May 2014
President signs Amended MLRA
The Marine Living Resources Amendment Bill (MLRA) was signed by the President on Tuesday 19 May 2014.
The next step is for the bill to be promulgated in the Gazette, so that it becomes an Act of Parliament. The act will then be in use on a date that will be proclaimed by the President.
This will mean that the implementation of the small-scale fisheries (SSF) policy can proceed. “This is very encouraging developments which have taken very long to materialise,” said Mandla Gqamlana, from Masifundise. “We hope that the implementation process will be driven with great energy and dedication.”
In October 2013, members of Coastal Links and Masifundise made submissions to parliament in support of the Marine Living Resources Amendment Bill. The following people addressed parliament: Masifundise Director, Naseegh Jaffer; Coastal Links SA chairperson Christiaan Adams; Hahn Goliath from Doringbaai, Neville Luyt from Steenberg Cove, Dawie Phillips from Port Nolloth, Sarah Niemand from Buffeljagsbaai, Lulami Ponono of Centane and Lindane Ngubane from KZN. The Bill was then adopted by the Standing Committee and thereafter the National Assembly.
Earlier this year, the bill was supported by the four coastal provinces, and thereafter it successfully went through the National Council of Provinces.
The SSF policy gives legal recognition to small-scale fishers and promotes empowerment and development.
International delegation visits Langebaan
Representatives of the Danish Developmental group, Afrika Kontakt (AK) and some of their partners from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Western Sahara last week embarked on a field visit to Langebaan.
In Langebaan they met with members of Coastal Links who shared with them the challenges faced by struggling fishing communities. Of particular interest was how fishers have been removed from their coastal dwellings for the development of holiday homes. “This is our experience of privatisation”, Norton Dowries told them.
The group also learnt about how CLSA in the area was organised and how they continue to mobilise resources in order to fight for their traditional fishing rights so that they can get access to the Zone B in the Langebaan lagoon.
Langebaan fishers have historically caught fish in the lagoon until the area was declared a ‘protected area’. The group of visitors expressed dismay at how the fishers rights have been limited while holidaymakers enjoy immense privileges.
Fishers took some members of the group for a short ‘spin’ in a local “bakkie” so that they could get the experience of going out on to the lagoon in a fishing boat.
The group viewed the field trip as a good learning experience and were very impressed by the vast local knowledge of the Coastal Links members.
Read a press release about the Langebaan court case here: https://www.masifundise.org/media-release-langebaan-fishers-to-take-their-battle-for-sustainable-livelihoods-to-court/
Read more about the AK here: http://www.afrika.dk/
The walls tell a story
Masifundise’s mini exhibition at the entrance to its building was completed last week. It uses visuals and text to tell the Masifundise and Coastal Links story and give readers some background on the small-scale fisheries sector.
The story of the struggle of fishers for a progressive small-scale fisheries policy is also summarised in print and pictures. The mini-exhibition comes just two months after the completion of a mural on the front facade of the Masifundise headquarters in Mowbray. The mural has given the building an amazing lift and is attracting the attention of members of the public.
“These initiatives are part of a major facelift at the Masifundise office,” said Communication Consultant Mansoor Jaffer. “They have included the painting of the office, the mural, the mini-exhibition and the reorganisation of the inside of the office.”
He said that staff members are now able to work in an environment that connected with the sector that they are employed to serve.
Pictures of the exhibition will be uploaded shortly on our FB site.