Coast KZN

16 Nov 2023

South Durban fisherfolk share their plight at meeting

Nadia Khan Picture: Fisherfolk from across the south of Durban attended a meeting held by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance. They were able to express their plight and concerns.

Scores of the fisherfolk from around the south Durban area had the opportunity to express their concerns, and the struggles they have faced for years, at a meeting hosted by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and the KZN Subsistence Fishing Forum (KZNSFF), held at the Denis Hurley Centre on November 8.

Janeira Reddy, SDCEA’s oil, gas, and livelihoods project officer, said subsistence fisherfolk have had their rights removed since 2012.

“These rights allowed them to catch fish, put food on the table, sell fish to put their children to school and pay for bills that keep their lights and water on.

“However, fisherfolk have lost their livelihoods due to the high E. coli levels and chemical pollution that have affected our beaches. They have been harassed by law enforcement, who were not providing equal rights for all,” she said.

Among the speakers was Dr Kira Erwin, a researcher at the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology, who presented feedback from the study that was conducted on subsistence fisherfolk around Durban. Desmond D’Sa, SDCEA’s office coordinator, discussed the sewage concerns in the ocean and the fisherfolk at Grunter Gully and Transnet. Fisherfolk were also given an opportunity to ask questions and voice the issues at their fishing sites.

John Peter Narayanasamy, the chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Subsistence Fisherfolk Forum (KZNSFF), presented on the subsistence fishing policy, the small-scale fishing policy, housekeeping, and the renewal of fishing permits.

“As the KZNSFF, we led the fight in building unity with all fisherfolk, including small-scale corporations on the KZN coastline. All issues were noted and will be investigated further by the KZNSFF,” he said.