CAPE TOWN – A new study highlights the impact of the hake deep-sea trawl fishery industry on small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), one of South Africa’s leading agri-industries and the significant contribution it makes to the South African economy through its expenditure on goods and services in the industry.
According to the study by independent economists Genesis Analytics, the sustainability and international competitiveness of the hake deep-sea trawl fishery are vitally important to 1,041 SMMEs that provide goods and services to the industry.
Business activity on the study is concentrated in the Western and Eastern Cape.
MCK Engineering is part of the 1,041 SMMEs to benefit from an association with the hake deep-sea trawl fishery industry.
The company started in a small workshop in Saldanha Bay, Western Cape, with only five employees. Over the past 14 years, MCK has developed into a multifaceted organisation that employs 72 people.
Moosa’s Enterprises, a black-owned transport company that offers transport services to several rights holders in the hake deep-sea trawl fishery is also an example of the companies that have benefitted from the industry, among others.
“The National Development Plan identifies SMMEs as the most likely source for job creation in South Africa, and places particular emphasis on SMMEs that provide services to larger firms,” chairperson of the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA), Felix Ratheb, said.
Ratheb said the hake deep-sea trawl fishery industry’s support of SMMEs is creating value and jobs, often in rural and semi-rural areas where economic opportunities are scarce.
The hake deep-sea trawling industry has spent a total of R624.4 million with SMMEs in 2019, with most of this spend directed towards businesses in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces, including non-metropolitan areas like Gansbaai, Mossel Bay, Saldanha Bay, St Helena Bay and Veldrif, according to SADSTIA.
A significant proportion (51%) of the R624.4 million the industry spends annually with SMMEs is directed at black- and female-owned businesses.
At 39 percent, engineering services account for the industry’s largest expenditure with SMMEs.
Ratheb hopes that the information presented in the latest study by Genesis Analytics will contribute to the development of precise fishery-specific policies ahead of the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP) that is scheduled to start this year.
“The policies that underlie FRAP 2021 need to be carefully formulated and aligned to the government’s priorities of preserving and creating jobs, encouraging investment and promoting inclusive growth,” Ratheb said.
The hake deep-sea trawl fishery is by far South Africa’s most valuable fishery. It contributes an estimated R6.7 billion to the South African economy each year, and provides 7,300 direct jobs and an estimated 29 200 indirect jobs.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay