Open Letter: “A breath of fresh air”
To CEO of Transnet Richard Vallihu
Smart Port Upgrade for Durban
Your letter in the Independent on Saturday (27 May 2017) was a breath of fresh air, showing that there is concern about the poor and marginalised who had lived in communities surrounding the port since timey memorial.
We need the dreams of our youth and communities to be fulfilled and Transnet is in the right space and time to do just that, by ensuring everybody, no matter if you’re poor or rich, can be part of the port.
I must also stress past Transnet CEO’s and senior managers marginalised and isolated the subsistence fisherfolk and unemployed from the Durban harbour. This practice continues even though your letter indicates change will happen. Since 911 subsistence fishermen have had to endure fines, harassment, confiscation of fishing equipment and their catches being taken away from both the port security and South African harbour police. The poor man’s transport the Metro Train from Chatsworth to the deep water South Pier has not been in operation because of the train lines for over a year and TRANSNET sister organisation PASSA is unable to fix a simple rail line? Subsistence fisherfolk and the working class are affected.
We are calling for your written and spoken words of deep seated compassion to be turned into words of action, by opening up fishing areas to the subsistence fishermen and a dedicated centre to be opened for the unemployed in the harbour. A budget set aside for our own V&A Waterfront for entertainment and recreation to be developed in the Durban harbour.
We call for a stakeholder committee to be immediately set up with clear terms of reference.
Written by Chadley Joseph
SDCEA Project Officer
No 2 John Dunn House
224 Gouritz Crescent
Austerville, Durban, 4052
031 461 1991