Small-Scale Fishers and Coastal Communities Protest Because Oil and Water Do Not Mix

This past weekend, small-scale fishers along the coast came out to demonstrate their opposition to offshore oil and gas projects that threaten the health of the ocean and consequently, also threatens their livelihoods and customary rights. Fishers from Lamberts Bay and Saldanha in Western Cape; and Gqeberha, Port St Johns and Xolobeni in Eastern Cape all highlight various projects and the concerns they have. See below for some great comments from these communities.

“The Green Connection’s Who Stole Our Ocean campaign is supported by the many coastal communities that we work with. Over the last two (2) years, these communities have remained steadfast in their opposition to offshore oil and gas. As an eco-justice organisation that promotes meaningful public participation and active citizenry, The Green Connection continues to support, ensuring to help raising their voices,” says van Rooy.

John Van der Heever from Lamberts Bay says, “It is impossible to agree with what TEEPSA and Total are planning. Oil and gas come with a curse and will never benefit the people on the ground. These companies must stop stealing our ocean and heritage.”

Carmelita Mostert from Saldanha Bay says, “TEEPSA oil and gas is not welcome here. We are one hundred (100%) behind The Green Connection in opposing the surveying of our waters. We say no to oil and gas for all the negative impacts it will have on the water. These big companies must respect our rights and traditions and leave our oceans alone.”

Small Scale Fishers, coastal communities and activists in Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape picket against seismic surveys

Bulelwa Mkhuli from Eastern Cape Environmental Network says, “Together with other organizations, we are opposing any exploration of our oceans. Oil and gas exploration will have a negative impact on our environment and those who depend on marine life for their livelihood. It is high time that we moved away from fossil fuels. Renewable energy is the way to go!”

Mthetheleli Mambhalu from Zwide in the Eastern Cape says, “I support the peaceful opposition of oil and gas exploration because the animals living in those waters are at risk of dying as a result. This will negatively affect our brothers and sisters who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods. We need fair public participation processes with those that will be most affected. We are not against development, we are merely asking for fair and just processes, coupled with transparency from decision makers.”

Joseph Dlamini says, “I have been a fisherman for thirty-two (32) years and I would be very sad if this oil and gas exploitation went ahead because my livelihood depends on the ocean. Oil and gas will poison our water and kill the fish that sustains us. I do not have any other means of sustaining my life apart from fishing.”

Dion Spandeel from the Eastern Cape Khoisan Small-Scale Fishers says, “We reject oil and gas because there are many communities that use sea water for its healing and cleansing properties. Oil and gas exploration will only make our water dirty and useless to us.”

Melikhaya Blani from the Eastern Cape Environmental Forum says, “We are a community-based organization fighting environmental injustices. We do not understand why the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) keeps approving deals that will have negative impacts on our environment.”

Ntsindiso Nongcavu from Port St Johns Eastern Cape says, “As small-scale fishermen in the South
Coast we are opposed to seismic surveys as they will have negative impacts on our oceans, thereby negatively affecting our livelihoods.”

Nandipha Nogwina from Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape says, “As a small-scale fisherwoman I
do not support these plans to blast in the ocean that I use for my livelihood. I stand together with others opposing these seismic surveys because they will destroy our lives and traditions.” Eastern Cape – Xolobeni

Thandokazi Dlamini from Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape says, “I do not agree with Total surveying our ocean, which we rely on to feed ourselves and our families. We have ancestors that we pray to in those waters and surveying the ocean will disrupt that and make our ocean dirty.”

Songezo Mbutuma from Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape says, “We use the ocean to sustain our lives due to unemployment. We are against oil and gas exploration because it will negatively affect our oceans, our livelihoods, and our lives as we know it.”

Sign The Green Connection’s petition to stop offshore oil and gas projects


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