St Helena Bay net making project launched


The Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Institute’s (Fadi) Net Making Skills Project launched a net making project on Friday 27 August. The programme took place at the Steenberg’s Cove Community Hall.

Sulaiman Appoles, head of projects at Fadi, says the blustery wind outside was no match for the warmth and liveliness of those inside attending the launch.

He said: “Net making is a skill somewhat easily trained, fairly easily learnt requiring little technology, making it ideal for people wanting to learn a skill that one can earn money from.” Guests for the day included representatives from Saldanha Bay IDZ, Saldanha Bay’s Local Economic Development department and the South African Fisheries Development Fund.

Learners also received a first hand practical net-making session. Appoles says that Fadi’s net making work will happen over the next several weeks in Laingville, and it is funded by the Maritime Chamber of Transport & Education Training Authority (Teta) and is also being rolled out in Ocean View (Cape Metro), Kogelberg (Overstrand Municipality) and Ekuphumleni.

The net making project will teach young people the skill of making and repairing fishing nets and also how to knit nets for cargo purpose, camping nets, pool nets and more.

“We’ve done our research. There is a market for these netting types. Technical skills training is one component, the other is some business skills training to help the beneficiaries build viable net making cooperatives.”

Bronwin September who attended the day says she can personally attest to the hardships of growing up in a fishing community and in a fishing family. She bemoaned the scarcity of opportunities for rural coastal town and welcomed the net-making skills training as a great opportunity for the people of this community to learn this netting skill and generate an income from it at the end of the course.

Dr Mark Botha, CEO of the SA Fisheries Development Fund, encouraged everyone to make the most of the opportunity. He welcomed the nature of the work, applauding its grassroots and empowering nature.

The IDZ’s Patrick Lekabana, Executive: Development Programmes, said that the IDZ has over a number of years laid a foundation for sustainable community engagement and development and has adopted a multi-sectoral approach, where the IDZ fully supports, promotes and partners with sustainable community initiatives. He went on to remark that the FADI net-making initiative fits with the IDZ’s sustainable community approach.

Formal classes in net-making and basic business skills will start in September.

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