EU project linked to SSF policy implementation

Masifundise entered into a contract with the European Union (EU) last year for a project that entails empowerment and job creation in twenty fishing communities across the country. The project forms part of the advocacy and organisational development work Masifundise has been engaged in over many years.

This particular project began last year and ends in two years’ time. The Project, funded by the EU, is about creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods through the implementation of the Small-Scale Fishery (SSF) Policy. “With this project we aim to ensure that there is a formation of empowered cooperatives that are capable of taking active part in the co-management of fisheries and benefitting from the creation of jobs

and livelihood opportunities in 20 fishing communities”, said project manager Mandla Gqamlana.

“It will also document lessons and best case practices of cooperatives already established in one community in order to scale up, and fast track economic development and job creation in other communities,“ he said.

He added: “Another prerogative for us is to improve co-operation with different government departments such as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in order to ensure governmental commitment and human and financial resources for the successful implementation of the SSF policy, including job creation.”

The delay in the implementation of the SSF policy has caused a delay in the project, because the two are closely linked. But already a booklet on Community Based Legal Entities (CBLE’s) has been produced as well as a video on best practices. The latter deals with the cooperatives of Doringbaai.

A baseline survey which provides details of the small-scale sector and two exchange visits has also been completed. A big focus of the project will be skills training in the twenty communities, and relationship-building between the fishers, government and civil society groups.

The manuals and videos will help with the training processes. The aim is to empower fishers so that they are able to participate meaningfully in economic activity.

“We have published and distributed a video and manual on Community Based Legal Entities” said Masifundise’s Nosipho Singiswa.

“The manual will be used by the organisation’s filed workers to help capacitate community member while the policy is being implemented, the manual and video are available on our website and social media sites” she continued.

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