Masifundise’s Food Sovereignty in Small-scale Fishing in South Africa Programme

To achieve the goals and objectives described above, Masifundise has developed an integrated Food Sovereignty in Small-scale Fishing Programme that currently consists of four inter-linked sub-programmes: Inland fisheries; Coastal Livelihoods; Capacity Building and Popular Education; and Global Solidarity and Movement Building. The four sub-programmes are supported by a range of cross-cutting areas of activity, outlined in more detail below.

Overall Programme Objective

The objective of the Food Sovereignty in Small-scale Fisheries Programme (FSSFP) is to support and empower inland and coastal fishing communities with relevant knowledge and tools to strengthen the application of a Food Sovereignty approach to small-scale fishing in South Africa and globally, as well as building a more socially and economically just, equal, and accountable legal, policy, political, and institutional framework in which Small-scale Fishers (SSFs) can exercise their fundamental right to livelihoods, food and nutrition.

Specific Objectives

  1. Institutional strengthening: to strengthen the institutional knowledge and capacity of Masifundise to implement its Food Sovereignty programme in South Africa and, globally;
  2. Empowerment for social activism: to empower small-scale fishers, especially youth, living or working in targeted fishing communities across South Africa (inland and coastal) with the relevant knowledge and capacity to claim, defend, and promote Food Sovereignty in small-scale fishing;
  3. Food sovereignty in practice: to demonstrate the value, and benefits of Food Sovereignty on the lives and livelihoods of small-scale fishing communities through targeted provincial and micro-projects and activities;
  4. Systemic change in small-scale fishing: to ensure that that the movement for Food Sovereignty in small-scale fishing in South Africa is supported by socially and economically just and accountable legal, policy, political, and institutional frameworks that are committed to participatory governance in the fisheries and related sectors;
  5. Global solidarity and movement building: to contribute towards building global solidarity amongst small-scale food producers and global movement for Food Sovereignty in small-scale fishing.

Masifundise is currently implementing the Food Sovereignty in Small-scale Fisheries Programme through the following projects:

The Action, which is carried out in partnership with Centro Internazionale Crocevia, FIAN International and the Transnational Institute and funded by the European Union, has the overall objective to ensure the socio-economic rights with the emphasis on the right to work of SSF communities are realised and work conditions in South Africa’s SSF are improved through the democratic governance of inland and marine natural resources.

The Specific Objectives of the Action are the following:

  1. To improve the capacity of SSFs and their organisations to advocate more effectively in policy and governance processes at the local, provincial, and national levels for the realization of their socio-economic rights and decent work conditions.
  2. To inform and monitor national and local level policy processes pertaining to SSF through research on work conditions in SSF value chains.
  3. To advance a constructive dialogue among SSF’ organisations, national and provincial government officials and other national and international stakeholders towards the implementation of public policies promoting decent work conditions and guaranteeing the right to work in SSF



Strengthening the voices of inland fishing communities to participate in the Inland Fisheries Policy Process

Project supported by the Commonwealth Foundation 

The main goal of this project is to ensure that Inland Small-scale Fishers (SSFs) are recognized, and their livelihood activities are protected and promoted. By strengthening organisation in inland fishing communities,  supporting the participation of inland fishing communities in relevant governance processes, and by increasing the awareness of governance institutions and other stakeholders on the potential of inland fisheries and the challenges faced by fishing communities, the project seeks to empower inland fishing communities to have their voices heard and to articulate their needs and proposing solution in relevant policy processes at local and national level, including the development of the Inland Fisheries Policy. 



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