KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube says that for the province to make a dent on poverty and inequality, amakhosi should take the Zulu monarch’s call to tap into ocean econony seriously. Dube-Ncube echoed the king’s sentiments during the installation of Inkosi Langelasembo Mkhize in Egoji in Mbumbulu where the monarch urged amakhosi not to focus only on agriculture.
“It is high time that we diversify or else risk our people being constantly trapped in grinding poverty. Let us take the opportunities that are out there to better the lives of the people we are leading. We need to explore what the ocean economy has in store for us. I want all amakhosi who are based along the coast, to do this,” said King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Concurring with the king’s call, Dube-Ncube said her department will always be supportive of any initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of people residing in the rural areas.
“The king is quite right, we have not done enough to take advantage of the fact that we are a coastal province. What would prevent traditional communities led by amakhosi from buying fishing boats and building packhouses where fish are be processed, canned and sold in the market? I believe our people could make a living out of it and black industrialists may be created out of this initiative. It is a big industry that our people have been excluded from,” said Dube-Ncube.
Dube-Ncube said nowadays oceans are a growth point for numerous industries including fishing.
“Ocean economy forms part of our government’s commitment to Radical Economic Transformation that will catapult our country into new growth heights. Channelling our energies and resources into this sector of the economy is going to help us in our endeavor to win the war against the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Dube-Ncube.
South Africa has 3 924 km of coastline, with KZN accounting for a big chunk of the total. Government’s scientific research shows that the ocean economy could contribute R177-billion to the gross domestic product and create just over a million jobs by 2033 if the country doubles its efforts to tap into it.