The Khoisan Defiance Campaign has served notice on the departments of public works, agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as the Coega Development Corporation that it will be embarking on rolling mass action in all 13 proclaimed fishing harbours in the Western Cape, including Hout Bay.
In a statement today, Wednesday August 1, the organisation said it had come to its attention that the public works department had appointed and contracted Coega Development Corporation to do all the “Operation Phakisa” fishing harbour upgrading projects in all 13 harbours.
“This is a multimillion rand project that seeks to employ major civils and construction upgrades in basic infrastructure and bulk services in the 13 proclaimed fishing harbours. Coega Development Corporation are responsible for overseeing the implementation of this massive construction, civils and engeneering works … yet little is known to local people and businesses are being sidelined by Coega Development Corporation tender processes,” the statement says.
“The Coega procurement and tender processes are not open, inclusive and accessible to local fishing communities. We are sidelined as people living and working in and around these fishing harbours. This is a major hinderness and economic barrier for locals. We reject the procurement and tender processes of Coega as it sidelined locals.”
The organisation said it would not tolerate economic exclusion as fishing communities.
“We demand an inclusive open tender process where people and bussineses can participate and compete fairly and equally. We will shut down all 13 proclaimed fishing harbours targeting major fishing towns like Hermanus, Hout Bay, Gaansbaai, Saldanha Bay, St Helena Bay, Laaiplek etc.
“We give Coega and Public Works 48 hours to remedy this deadlock. All major fishing communities will have mass rallies and gatherings and will not allow any outside contractors and Coega to start working in our fishing harbours unless they consult us.”
The organisation said it welcomed the upgrades to the fishing harbours, but condemned any form of exploitation and economic marginalisation.