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Coastal Community Members of Graaff-Reinet, Knysna and Langebaan Share Their Thoughts About Calling on the Banks to NOT Fund Karpowerships

Coastal Community Members of Graaff-Reinet, Knysna and Langebaan Share Their Thoughts About Calling on the Banks to NOT Fund Karpowerships

“In my experience as a fisher woman and Chairperson of our small-scale fishing community, who makes a living from the ocean, and who conducts training, develop skills and builds up knowledge, I can say that fishing communities in South Africa are not recognised as valuable stakeholders in development.”

Coastal community member of the West Coast participating in the picketing movement held in Langebaan, to call on Absa to not fund karpowerships.

“There have been developments upon developments, and yet, we – those who live where they want to build, have no say. Before Transnet built a sea wall here (in Langebaan), we used to get tonnes and tonnes of stumpnoes fish. We all can testify, since the wall arrived, this has all changed. We tried to speak out against the wall – signed petitions and went to meetings – but our calls to protect our ocean were ignored, government and business just do what they want. By the time we have our chance to raise our voices (when we do get that chance), it is clear that the decisions to proceed have already been taken. We are always the last people to hear that development projects.”

“Small-scale fishers are always the last to know about development plans that are made within our communities. And, by the time we hear about these things, we have no say in the matter. All the decisions being made on our behalf, come from top-down. We are never involved as equal stakeholders who should be taken seriously. We just get told that things are happening and we just have to live with it because we have no say. And, we are not happy that others are making decisions on our behalf. “

“We work with our fishing communities, and therefore can’t make decisions on their behalf, without discussing and agreeing on it first. And what we understand is that small-scale fishers do NOT want Karpowerships on the West Coast, or anywhere else in our ocean, for that matter. What will we do with Karpowerships in our ocean? Can anyone honestly say they know what impact these floating power stations will have on our lagoon or on the harbour? Do we really know what the impacts will be over the 20-years that it will be in our oceans?”

“Small-scale fishing communities do not want karpowerships, nor oil and gas projects.”

“That is why we held a peaceful demonstration today to send a clear message to ABSA to call on the bank to recognize the value of their local clients (we are also important) and to not fund Karpowerships. We don’t want any development in our oceans anymore. We don’t want any more empty or broken promises. We say NO MORE!!! We live from the ocean and have been making a living from the ocean for generations. It is our customary right to fish here. We have been fishing here since before anyone else even knew about this place.”

Picketing movement held in Graaff-Reinet, to emphasize communities clear message to Absa to not fund karpowerships.
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