Sea Harvest is a key contributor towards sustainability of Saldanha Bay Municipal area

4 August 2016

For the past 52 years Sea Harvest has grown into the single largest employer in the Saldanha Bay Municipality (SBM) and is one of the largest vertically integrated black-owned fishing companies in the country. An Economic Impact Study recently completed by Independent Economic Researchers has revealed the key role that Sea Harvest continues to play in the livelihood of the West Coast municipality of Saldanha Bay and surrounding communities. Sea Harvest’s operations, specifically, generate almost 10% of total employment in the SBM area.

Job creation in the municipality continues to fuel economic growth in the region where 2011 Census data indicate that 48% of the SBMs population live close to or below the poverty line. Employment created from Sea Harvest’s commercial activities includes direct and indirect employment at about 170 local suppliers and 15 local buyers, amounting to approximately 4000 jobs. The resulting total local income attributed to the presence of Sea Harvest is close to R400m per annum, which is approximately 10% of the total household incomes in the SBM.

Sea Harvest’s operations has been a catalyst for the creation of other successful businesses and this continues to be the case with about 75% of the company’s expenditure being with level 1 and 4 suppliers within the SBM. R33 million of the income received by the Municipality is due to Sea Harvest’s operations in the area.

As a leading company, Sea Harvest has diligently worked at demonstrating its commitment to empowerment. Its overall Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) rating has increased from 78.8 in 2010 to 95.8 in 2015 with its current black ownership at 85%. According to a KPMG 2013 B-BBEE Survey Report, the average score for all of the industries considered was 54, while the highest scoring industry was construction with 79 points. Sea Harvest, by comparison, achieved a significantly higher total of 97 points.

Sea Harvest employees have also benefitted from the company’s commitment to transformation. In 2015, employees became shareholders in the company for a second time in its history. “The Employee Share Trust issued approximately 4.26 million shares resulting in employees owning about 5% of total shares, which has a current combined value of R30 million. This enables employees to share in the value created through growth, and over 80% is held by our employees in the SBM,” explains Sea Harvest Human Resource Director, Mary-Lou Harry.

The commitment to empowering people through training and development has allowed the company to increase its skills development and create over 12 000 training opportunities. Of the employees granted training and development opportunities over the past five years, 98% have been previously disadvantaged individuals and more importantly over 60% have been female.

“As the single largest employer in Saldanha Bay we take our social responsibility seriously,” states Sea Harvest’s Operations Director and Chairperson of the Sea Harvest Foundation, Terence Brown. The Foundation’s key focus areas include education, health, sports development, community development and business development. In terms of health, Sea Harvest has been working closely with the Department of Social Development for many years and, since 2012, six social workers have been permanently based at the Sea Harvest Social Development Office on Saldanha’s Main Road.

Sea Harvest’s Strategic Services Executive, Madoda Khumalo, says, “Sea Harvest’s operations have necessitated substantial capital investment in the form of vessels, buildings, machinery and equipment over the years. Our fixed capital has a replacement value of approximately R1.7 billion. However, to continue adding value for our people, local communities, suppliers, customers and consumers, we need government’s support. This is critical given the highly regulated industry within which we operate. It is my hope that the results of this independent study demonstrate our commitment to contributing, in turn, to government’s key strategic drivers and the creation of meaningful jobs in the SBM.”

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