April 2024.

In an effort to support the local maritime community, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has announced its recent support for two Eastern Cape fishing co-operatives, aimed at bolstering the local fishing community for long-term sustainability. The Sarah Baartman Co-Op, comprising members from Loerie and Jeffreys Bay, along with the Elinye Co-Op from Humansdorp, have each been granted a fully registered fishing vessel, in addition to other extensive support.

This support aligns perfectly with the South African Government’s Operation Phakisa initiative, which seeks to expedite the resolution of key development issues within the ‘oceans economy’, particularly in the Eastern Cape, a province rich in maritime resources.

“We are truly grateful for the support received from the wind farm, notably the sponsorship of both a boat and a utility vehicle for our co-op. It’s significant to acknowledge that the wind farm stands out as the sole entity in the Kouga area to have extended such support to local cooperatives. Looking ahead, we are eager to demonstrate our progress and the evolution of our co-operative’s leadership to the wind farm. Your assistance has been pivotal in paving the way forward for our co-op. Thank you once again.” – Mr. Resheen Lucas, Chairman, Sarah Baartman Co-Op.

Through its Enterprise Development Programme, the aim is to empower the co-ops on their journey towards commercial viability, enabling them to make a significant impact on the local economy and generate lasting job opportunities. The support extended goes beyond merely providing essential equipment; it includes comprehensive legal, technical, and business development assistance. This multifaceted approach has established a solid base for the co-ops, enhancing their ability to access markets over the long term, develop essential skills, and meet regulatory requirements. Such support is crucial in fostering their successful integration and expansion within the fishing industry.

“Our goal is to empower the co-ops towards achieving economic and employment sustainability within their communities. Hence, we sought to provide comprehensive support beyond equipment, to help set the co-op members on a path of growth and success in this vitally important industry,” stated Nonini Makhothe, Economic Development Specialist at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s engagement with the local fishing co-ops reflects a broader commitment to empowering its previously disadvantaged local communities. The initiative aims to foster sustainable fishing businesses that will, in turn, bolster the local economy and provide meaningful employment opportunities.