Khoisan campaign wants in

The Department of Public Works is expected to meet with the Khoisan Defiance Campaign to address the issue of the alleged “economic marginalisation” within the Operation Phakisa project today, Tuesday 14 August.

According to the spokesperson for the organisation, Sammy Claassen, the department responded immediately to a letter that was reportedly submitted earlier this month. He says the Khoisan Defiance Campaign indicated that should their complaints not be addressed, they would shut down the harbours concerned.

“We are in consultation with the DDG of Public Works and the first meetings will take place next week. They have agreed to meet and sort out the mess.”

He says they wrote to the department because local fishing communities and businesses were not considered for economic opportunities and were sidelined.

“We have no access to information. Unemployment is huge. [There is a] lack of opportunities and big companies are scooping up government contracts in fishing harbours at the expense of local businesses. We hope our engagement with these senior officials will help address these issues,” says Claassen.

The organisation wants to be part of Operation Phakisa that will see 13 provincial fishing harbours upgraded, including Hout Bay Harbour.

It is reported that Public Works has contracted Coega Development Corporation for the project. Byron la Hoe, spokesperson for the provincial department of public works, says Operation Phakisa falls under the national department. The national Department of Public Works had not responded at the time of going to print.