Land-based fish farm mooted for youth employment programme in Bay

Economic development boss Anele Qaba
Economic development boss Anele Qaba
Image: Supplied/Facebook

Yet another proposal for a fish farm in Nelson Mandela Bay is being considered, but this one will be inland and run by unemployed youth.

The proposed fish farm forms part of the Youth Employment Services (Yes) programme run by the office of the president.

The city’s economic development, tourism and agriculture portfolio committee gave the thumbs-up on Tuesday for the project to be rolled out in the Bay.

It is a separate proposal to the one mooted for the ocean – for which a decision on location is expected to be made soon.

Economic development boss Anele Qaba said the city, through its partnership with the Business Place, had managed to secure R1.8m from the Yes programme.

While the municipality has yet to allocate land for the fish farm to operate on, Qaba said the idea was that it would be inland.

In a report to the portfolio committee, Qaba wrote that the fish farm would include development around it, with supermarkets and restaurants.

“The first level is to operate in the Nelson Mandela Bay enterprise development centres for the purpose of job placements, training and skills development for the unemployed youth,” Qaba wrote.

“The second phase through negotiations is the establishment of a land-based fish farm in Nelson Mandela Bay.”

DA councillor Werner Senekal said while he was in agreement with job creation for unemployed youth, he was, however, concerned that the city was getting involved where it had no mandate in the ocean.

“We fully agree with upskilling the youth, but it is not our job as the municipality to identify sites in the ocean – we deal with land – that [the ocean] is a job for environmental affairs,” Senekal said.

“We also don’t know what the outcome of the public participation is.

“I don’t think it’s our mandate, it’s not our place.

“We agree and like the upskilling and training of youth in this field, but regarding the identification of land for a fish farm in the ocean, we have no mandate over the ocean.”

But Qaba assured the committee that the fish farm would be on land.

“This will . . . need land,” Qaba said.

“It will be a land-based fish farm, it will be anywhere else in the city.

“The site could be in Motherwell, Uitenhage or anywhere, but it will be a land-based fish farm,” Qaba said.