Transformation is a process initiated at the dawn of democracy in 1994 in South Africa to address the inequalities that resulted from the country’s past. As one of the largest black-owned companies in the South African fishing sector, one of the Group’s primary drivers is to continually improve on its transformation targets and, more importantly, to play an active role in empowering marginalised and disadvantaged groups and individuals. This is evidenced by the fact that Sea Harvest has moved from a Level 4 Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) company 10 years ago to a Level 1 company with a c.83% black ownership (up from 21% 15 years ago) and an overall B-BBEE score of 104.44 on the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) generic B-BBEE scorecard.
The Group’s dedication to a holistic 20-year transformation journey culminated in Sea Harvest being named the Most Empowered fishing and food company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in a special report about the empowerment credentials of JSE-listed companies, which was published by a South African media house in partnership with independent rating and research companies in November 2018.
Facilitating the transformation of the fishing industry has been an imperative for Sea Harvest since the advent of democracy in South Africa. In 1998, black-owned and managed Brimstone Investment Corporation (“Brimstone”) invested in Sea Harvest for the first time and eventually led a black consortium in buying out Tiger Brands’ majority shareholding in 2009. Brimstone gradually increased its shareholding to establish the 83% black-owned company that Sea Harvest is today. Other initiatives that have allowed Sea Harvest to boost transformation include the formation of Employee Share Trusts that allow employees to own a share in the company, thereby allowing the circle of benefit to include its staff. Sea Harvest has also made further strides in its transformation ambitions by implementing a Management Development Programme for high-performing employees from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
During 2015, Sea Harvest entered into joint ventures with three smaller, black-owned businesses that hold long-term Deep-Sea Hake fishing rights, to assist them in catching and processing their allocated Cape Hake quota.
In 2018, Sea Harvest co-founded a R100 million South African Fisheries Development Fund to support small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the small-scale fishing sector. Through the Fund it provides marketing assistance, vessels and assets, management expertise, training and mentoring, and processing of fish to promote enterprise development. The primary objective of the Fund is to transform the fishing industry from the ground up by assisting smaller quota holders and small-scale fishers in catching their quotas, processing their catch, and accessing markets. For more information on the Fund and its activities go to https://fisheriesfund.co.za/en/.
CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT
Sea Harvest, through its not-for-profit company and registered public benefit organisation, the Sea Harvest Foundation NPC, is committed to sharing its wealth with the communities in which it operates.
The Group believes that the quality of its stakeholder relationships can be attributed to a willingness to engage openly and honestly, as well as understand and respond to stakeholders’ expectations.
Since its inception, the Foundation has supported socio-economic development activities that assist beneficiaries to secure sustainable livelihoods, providing them with opportunities to meaningfully participate in the local and mainstream economy, and eliminate social ills. Post 2016, we have spread our focus to early childhood development; healthcare; education; as well as youth and community development.
EDUCATION & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The Foundation aims to empower and support youth by assisting schools, youth development organisations and sports clubs in the communities in which we operate. There is also a sharp focus on empowering the youth to become economically active, create sustainable livelihoods and become respectable members of society.
Sea Harvest Foundation Bursary Programme
Twenty years ago, we reframed our approach to responding to the needs of society, specifically in Saldanha Bay, with the establishment of the Sea Harvest Foundation. Since 2015, the Sea Harvest Foundation has awarded bursaries to tertiary students in any field of study within the Saldanha Bay Municipal area.
Surfing South Africa
In a normal year, youth receive coaching to identify whether they have the skills for a career in professional sport while life skills programmes build their character and mental strength. Surfing South Africa gives youth from previously marginalised areas the opportunity to learn how to surf and compete at provincial and national level.
School Sports Equipment Handover
To promote a healthy, active lifestyle amongst youngsters who might otherwise be tempted to turn to drugs and alcohol, we partner with 24 low-income school sports teams in the Saldanha Bay municipal area. We provide them with sports kits and financial donations from the Sea Harvest Foundation.
Siyavuselela Sports and Skills Programme
The Sea Harvest Foundation plays an active role in the development of children in broader Cape Town through its partnership with the Siyavuselela programme. The sports programme creates opportunities for children to persue a possible career path in sport, while the life skills programme focuses on building character and mental strength.
The Foundation collaborated with EcoBrick Exchange and scholars to collect plastic from Bluewater Bay beach. The collected plastic was then used to fill 2 litre bottles. Youth were then trained to build structures using the filled bottles.
Kleinzee Centre for Learning and Development
The centre is located in the Northern Cape. On Mandela Day 2019, a group of Sea Harvest employees travelled from Saldanha to Kleinzee to assist with much-needed renovations at the Boys’ Hostel, provide new bedding for the Girls’ Hostel, and install a television screen in the Resource Classroom.
Access to basic health care is a human right. The Sea Harvest Foundation’s mission is to ensure that community members have no difficulty in accessing basic health services. Over the past five years, more than R2 million has been invested in the following initiatives: providing long-distance transport to medical facilities for Sea Harvest employees and their immediate family members who live in rural areas; supporting the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust; and donating funds towards the annual two-week dental clinic operated by former Foundation bursary recipient, Dr Joseph Joshua.
Premises for the Department of Social Development
A satellite Department of Social Development office in Saldanha Bay is sponsored by the Foundation to ensure that it is within the reach of the Saldanha Bay community.
Kids for Kids Initiative
Sea Harvest’s annual Kids for Kids initiative is aimed at raising funds for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. The funds have been used to purchase a Giraffe Warmer machine, do building renovations and upgrades, establish a Child Safe Centre and for additional operating times to perform operations on patients on a waiting list.
Community development is another one of the Foundation’s priorities and our approach is focused on empowering communities to help themselves.
West Coast Business Development Centre (WCBDC)
Sea Harvest has been a long-standing donor of the WCBDC. In 2018, the Foundation sponsored a Reputation Matters’ Awesome AfriCAN initiative. This saw 11 small business owners and 13 community members attend a computer literacy course – for many, it was their first experience of working on a computer.
Fish Factories Tournament
Sea Harvest contributes to the local community by investing in their physical wellbeing. The Foundation funds several community-based sports clubs. Sea Harvest has also provided funding towards the Fish Factory Tournament annually since 1987 and in recent years has entered rugby, soccer and netball teams to participate in the tournament.
Middelpos Neighbourhood Watch Community Centre
Thanks to Sea Harvest’s donation of a container and furniture, a Neighbourhood Watch Community Centre opened its doors in Middelpos, an informal settlement in Saldanha which has become a crime hotspot. The mobile unit is a base for the local neighbourhood watch and serves as a central point for the South African Police Service.
Khayelitsha Canoe Club
During 2019, Sea Harvest partnered with the Khayelitsha Canoe Club and community members to create awareness around plastic and other pollutants in Cape Town’s waterways. The Khayelitsha Canoe Club has around 40 children in its paddling programme, all picking up litter in endangered wetlands.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
The importance of education in the early stages of a child’s life has been the drive behind our support of ECD’s. The Foundation has continuously assisted ECD centres so that they can adjust the monthly school fees to make it more affordable for parents, whilst also ensuring that learners receive quality education. With our contribution we aim to give parents peace of mind when they are at work that their children are in a safe and stimulating learning environment.
Grade R School
Sea Harvest with its employees and local community members began addressing the issue of ECD and how it was being affected by overcrowding in 2015. This led Sea Harvest to fund three pre-Grade R/Grade R classrooms for around 100 learners in Diazville Saldanha Bay with the Western Cape Education Department.
Jungle Gym at Bersheba Hardetjies and Bright Kids
Bersheba Hardetjies and Bright Kids are two of many ECD centres that receive support in the form of fish product donations, educational toys, outdoor equipment and infrastructure development from the Foundation.
In response to a request from employees to help ensure their children aren’t bored and tempted to engage in risky behaviour during school holidays, Sea Harvest launched a holiday club in partnership with an NPO. The organization caters for 100 children, providing them with at least one cooked meal per day, educational toys and caregivers.
During 2019, a special ECD project enabled the improvement of basic education and upgrades to 21 ECD centres in the Saldanha Bay Municipal area. The ECD centres were selected based on a needs analysis conducted the previous year. With the assistance of Heini van Niekerk Architects, the project also included some structural improvements to the […]
Covid-19 Care kits
The Foundation – under the guidance of the Cape west coast Social Development Department – procured the necessary goods for early childhood development centres (ECD) to be compliant with the new Covid-19 rules. Beyond the immediate emergency needs, we used the opportunity to improve the standards of our centres, which will make a difference to […]
Aside from its key focus areas, Sea Harvest through the Foundation invests in many other diverse projects aimed at benefitting and supporting community initiatives that will contribute towards developing a sense of social pride or that address a serious need. In most cases, funding is allocated to the relevant organisations on an annual basis.
World Food Day
Sea Harvest continues to support the DAFF in commemorating World Food Day by raising awareness on the issues of poverty and hunger. As a member state of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), South Africa observes this day by organising public awareness campaigns, which support the National Programmes for Food and Nutrition Security.
World Fisheries Day
Sea Harvest participates in this annual event hosted by then South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), World Fisheries Day is celebrated throughout the world every year on November 21 to highlight the importance of the fishing industry and its contribution towards, inter alia, food security.