The Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudhafasi, visits the DLIST community in Hamburg
In April 2010 the DLIST team visited the selected demonstration site in Hamburg, South Africa, for the first time. At the initial community meeting the Honourable Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs was present together with other high ranking officials to show that the Government of South Africa takes the project seriously and want to support the initiative to work with the Hamburg community. The DLIST team and the community members appreciate this high level support and hope that it will assist the demonstration site work to move on fast to improve the situation for the people on the ground.
During the days spent in Hamburg, the community identified many issues related to the use of marine and coastal resources and the future development of the town. Some of the issues that must be addressed are;
• Lack of good infrastructure and supporting services such as the main road, a supermarket and an ATM
• Lack of information sharing from the governmental level to the community, in particular related to the new laws about use of coastal and marine recourses
• Lack of marketing and co-ordination of Hamburg as a tourist destination
• Lack of alternative livelihoods e.g. employment opportunities
• Poaching and overharvesting of coastal resources e.g. abalone, seaweed, shell grade
• Problem that people from the outside gets permits to drive on the beach while it is almost impossible for people from the local community to obtain permits
A planning committee has been selected to represent the community in the development planning process and the DLIST team are looking forward to return to Hamburg in the near future to continue the work with further stakeholder interviews and community meetings.