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Twenty-nine fishing co-operatives received their fishing licenses from the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in Mandeni last Tuesday.
The co-operatives are from rural communities along the coastal side of KwaZulu-Natal and have a combined membership of more than 2000 people.
Minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries Senzeni Zokwana said the department had helped the communities in setting up cooperatives, registering them with the CIPC and providing extensive training in fishing and co-operative management.
“We took a decision that is in line with the amended marine living resources act to introduce and nurture the smallscale fisheries as both an act of redress from apartheid past exclusion and, as a contribution to the building of rural and coastal economy, and mass job creation,” said Zokwana.
Sifiso Nxele from Nonoti is one of the beneficiaries who says he believes the help they received will change their lives.
Among those who benefited was chairman of the Nonoti Co-operative Sifiso Nxele who had been a fisherman for more than 15 years.
“Our co-operative has 38 members and most of us are unemployed. We all fish for a living we are grateful for the assistance provided,” said Nxele.
He said they have been fishing at Nonoti Beach for years, but it had never crossed their minds to form a co-operative.
“The department provided a workshop and told us all the business opportunities available for us and we hope this is the start of a positive turn around in our lives,” said Nxele.
The co-operatives certificate came with 15-year fishing rights. Zokwana said they were earnestly rolling out the establishment of the fisheries in all four coastal provinces.
Dancing for joy!
“Last year we launched in the Northern Cape and we are here today in KZN as a second province for the Small Scale Fisheries sector. Our next province is the Eastern Cape followed by the Western Cape.”
She said she would allocate small-scale fishing co-operatives rights between five and 15 years.
“This will allow space for them to grow through trial and error, be mentored and supported through resources,” said the minister.