The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says the Northern Cape coastal town of Port Nolloth has the potential to once again become a beehive of economic activities.
That’s if all stakeholders work together to implement the nine-point socio-economic development plan produced for the Namakwa District Municipality as part of the District Development Model (DDM).
Gina began her two-day visit to Port Nolloth on May 3, with a meeting that was attended by all three spheres of government to discuss the roll-out of the plan at it relates to the Richtersveld Local Municipality. Gina was accompanied the Northern Cape MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Mase Manopole and the Mayor of the Namakwa District Municipality, Councillor Mervin Cloete, and was hosted by the Mayor of the Richtersveld Local Municipality, Councillor Arthur Jansen.
“We are happy to report that we are making good progress in regard to changing the lives of the people of the Namakwa District Municipality through the implementation of the District Development Model as directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he appointed me to be the champion of the model in the district. Together with all the key stakeholders we have produced a Nine-Point Plan on key developmental priorities for the district,” said Gina.
One of the interventions proposed by the plan is the revitalisation of the Port Nolloth Harbour in order to stimulate various economic activities around the port that will also benefit small and medium enterprises. But Gina expressed optimisms and confidence that tourism, mining, fisheries, hospitality and beneficiation can be revived in the town, with quite tangible economic spin-offs which will lead to eradication of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
She added that the implementation will take place in various local municipalities through collaboration of the district leadership as well as the provincial and national governments.
“It is for that reason that we have decided to zoom onto the Richtersveld Local Municipality today and tomorrow. And from what I have heard and seen today this area has a potential to become a vibrant economic powerhouse of the district, and the province in general. The main objective is to change the lives of the people for the better. As we revitalise the harbour and open up more opportunities for small scale fisheries, more jobs will be created. The wealth of this area requires to be fully exploited in order ensure that small enterprises thrive and beneficiation of the minerals takes place. There are also unlimited opportunities for tourism and hospitality industries to blossom,” said Gina.
MEC Mase Manopole indicated that the District Development Model in the Richtersveld local municipality, was a vehicle to create more job opportunities in the Northern Cape, as envisaged by the National Development Plan.
“The National Development Plan is clear on eliminating poverty by drawing on energies of our people in growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities and promoting leadership and partnership throughout society. In the province, our District Development Model, which is focusing mainly in the Boegoebaai Port and the Port Nolloth Small Harbour, has got the potential to grow and create an inclusive economy,” added Manopole.
The MEC indicated that recently, the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, together with the team led by Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa from the Investment and Infrastructure office in the Presidency, visited the projects to monitor the work which has already been done.
The Mayor of the Richtersveld Local Municipality, Councillor Arthur Jansen, said he was excited that the implementation of the district’s Nine-Point Plan will go a long way in uplifting the people of Richtersveld.
“We are excited about this project as it means socio-economic development and job creation in our area. It will benefit our people as it talks directly to what needs to happen to revive the economy of this town. The economic focus has always been on mining. Now we are happy that our economy will diversify and we will see other sectors contributing to job creation and economic growth. We are fully committed to support this process to make sure that it succeeds,” said Jansen.
Director for Fisheries at the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Mr Denver Baron said that the small scale fisheries co-op system has been recognised as the best legal entity to be used that can lead to equitably distribute wealth amongst members and fishers. Denver noted that there are currently two co-ops in the Northern Cape who have been allocated small scale fishing rights for a period of 15 years. The co-ops have shown profits and have distributed profits equally to its members.
“Currently the Co-op in Port Nolloth activates commercial fishing rights allocated to it and thereby the local fishing industry is being revitalised which is one of the priorities of the Namakwa District Development Model,” indicated Denver.