A service provider dealing with the implementation of SSF policy

On February 26, President Jacob Zuma signed the amendment to the MLRA into law, and in so doing, the proclamation to implement the small scale fishing policy (SSFP).

What is now happening is communication with the fishing communities in the form of roadshows that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), will be conducting throughout the country, according to Jeffrey Kleinsmith, chief executive officer (CEO) of Sakaza Communications, the service provider who will be assisting DAFF in the implementation of the SSFP in the Western Cape and Northern Cape.

Kleinsmith said that Sakaza is not part of the roadshows, but that it has already kicked off in the Western Cape, and that they have already had feedback from communities.

Sakaza Communications is a small business in Cape Town that works extensively with local communities throughout South Africa, in the area of local economic development.

In the beginning of its 23 year lifespan, Kleinsmith said that they mainly focused on communication activities, like running a community radio station and a community newspaper.

“We help communities to find solutions to their problems, and to help them with the setting up of co-operatives,” said Kleinsmith.

In the beginning, working with the local communities posed many challenges, since many things were not in place, but he believes things got better over time.

According to Kleinsmith, many of the challenges and solutions in the work they are presently busy with, is also applicable in the fishing communities.

For him it is also great that they managed to be appointed as one of the service providers for the SSFP, since he said that they are already working in some of the fishing communities, although it is on different projects.

“We can then look at overlapping with other departments to find holistic solutions to the problems of the fishing communities, because we also work with the Departments of Agriculture in the Western Cape, the Department Water Affairs and Sanitation and the Department of Rural Development.”

Smith said that Sakaza applied for the tender in 2013, and was appointed in 2015, and only recently started working on the SSFP, after the president signed the proclamation.

“Our mandate is for two-and-a-half-years, and with the verification process and all the other things put in place, the SSFP should be implemented before the end of the year.”

“With the implementation of the SSFP, we will be responsible for training, capacitating and setting up co-operatives, and all the practical mechanics that goes with the implementation.”

Kleinsmith said that the next stage in the implementation will be the verification of the fishers that will be linked to the fishing communities.

Firstly the communities will have to declare an interest in the process by registering an Expression of Interest, and so far, Kleinsmith said that over 300 communities have already done so.

Members of the communities then have to be verified by proving their association with the small scale fishing industry.

“Members of communities will assist in verifying the information provided by individuals, this will be done through a local committee consisting of representatives of the fishing community, members of the broader community and officials from DAFF.”

Kleinsmith said that fishing communities and community based legal entities can take different forms, but that this will be explored with the communities.

To find out more about the implementation of the SSFP, call: 086 000 3474

To register an Expresssion of Interest, a community must fill in an’ Expression of Interest Form’ and either e-mail it to expressionofinterest@daff.gov.za or fax it to 021 402 3622 before April 7, 2016.

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