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MosselbayonTheline | First With The News

The application by Afro Fishing (Pty) Ltd. to establish a fish meal and fish oil manufacturing plant on the old I&J premises on Quay 1 of the Mossel Bay harbour caused such a public outcry that Mosselbayontheline was urged by several readers to launch a petition in order to prevent such a "short-sighted catastrophe from killing the town's thriving tourism industry and livelihood".

Local home and holiday home owners, as well as business owners, fear they will be left in the same position as residents in Hout Bay, Gansbaai and Saldanha Bay where all attempts, appeals, and lengthy court cases to curb the unbearable stink that invariably goes hand in hand with such an industry came to nothing. 

Mossel Bay Harbour Development

They are also concerned about the impact on their property value, the pristine environment and that a fish meal factory will create much fewer job opportunities than it will cut jobs when restaurants and tourism industries have to close their doors due to the stench. 

Questions are also raised about the viability and practicality of such an industry next to a planned multi-billion-rand-project to upgrade and enlarge the harbour area into an upmarket waterfront and tourism Mecca.

Afri Fishing, the current owner of the canning factory in the Mossel Bay harbour, also plans to expand the canning factory to accommodate red herring, anchovy and other fish species for the international export market.

While everybody supports job creation and the potential economic injection of such an industry, the majority is against the location and its negative impact on existing businesses, residents, the environment and especially tourism. 

The ongoing battle of residents in other coastal towns where similar fish meal factories are operating should be a fair indication and timeous warning of the widespread impact of such a plant.

The biggest concern is the proven inability of the respective authorities to police, monitor and enforce all the legal procedures and legislation pertaining to such an industry. 

Another concern is the ongoing drought and where the water for such water-intensive industries must come from.

Last year, two desalination plants were launched at Lucky Star's cannery and fish meal operations on the West Coast to relieve their dependence on the West Coast district municipality’s water supply . .. Is the same route going to be followed in Mossel Bay?

"If nothing and nobody could henceforth manage to successfully curb the unbearable stink and negative impact of these fish meal factories anywhere in the world, what makes Mossel Bay think they will have the ultimate solution? What's happening in Hout Bay and Saldanha Bay is an exact example of what can be expected here", was said.

Vismeelfabriek Houtbaai

Photo: The Lucky Star factory, a subsidiary of the Oceana Group, emits a smell of rotting fish and has had Hout Bay residents up in arms for years with no resolution in sight. Photo: David Ritchie

Read more here:

The stealthy way in which plans and the public participation process for such an invasive industry were announced, also ruffled some feathers and is reminiscent of the out-of-the-blue soil-turning ceremony last year to publicly celebrate a chemical plant next to PetroSA . . . which has apparently since been discarded, or at least, placed on the back burner?

The first word that the public heard of any plans for such a controversial fish meal plant was an unobtrusive official notice published on a back page of last week's Advertiser (22 February 2019), along with a deadline to register as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP) and to submit written comments to the Cape Environmental Association on or before 25 March 2019. 

mun kennisgewings2

People complained that such unobtrusive notices in a community paper, as well as the short deadline times for objections, are grossly unfair and suspicious, as only a handful of affected parties see or read such official notices and by the time they become aware of the implications of such an industry, it is too late to object.

"What about homeowners living abroad or elsewhere in the country? How must they know about plans for such ambitious industries that pose disastrous threats to their property value and quality of life in order to object timeously?"

Mosselbayontheline was bombarded with comments and questions from concerned residents after we wrote about Afro Fishing's plans; and within hours after we launched the petition, more than 100 have signed it and over 300 recommended the petition. 

Here are some of the public commentaries and objections: 

"Penny wise and a pound foolish. 

Gee 200 werk by Vismeel fabriek en AL die Restaurante in die omgewing maak toe agv omgewing... Dan begin toerisme afneem... Nog mense in toerisme bedryf werkloos... Besighede wat staatmaak op seisoenale inkomste maak toe... Eiendomsmark val deur die vloer en kontrakteurs maak toe... tel al hierdie mense wie se brood en botter in gevaar is bymekaar... dalk meer as die 200 nuwe jobs wat beloof word. O’, jou eiendom is ook skielik minder werd...klink goed né!? "

"They better have excellent abatement methods in place to mitigate the smells if they proceed... stinky emissions can have many far-reaching negative impacts on the town; from impacts on tourism and the local community; to property prices and eventually job losses... It's not a simple situation and job creation in the short term is not the only determining factor... it will need good and thorough planning to be successful!"

  • "This is not about eating fish or stopping fishing. It's about a smelly fish meal (not for human consumption) plant in an area that is dependent on tourism. Tourists do not go to smelly places to spend their money."  


  • "All I'm concerned about is the location of the plant. Right in the tourist area. Some weeks ago there was talk of enlarging the harbour to accommodate the large cruise ships that come here. That would then become a rather pointless development as tourists will not enjoy the smell. What about an alternative position for the plant, Mosdustria? Then you can create additional jobs for transporting fish to the plant etc.
  • Tourism is the goose that keeps laying golden eggs, killing it is not a wise thing."
  • "That smell!!! Be like St Helena ...and when the breeze blows towards guys better run.... lock up ..everything is going to smell fishy!!!! No thanks. If it was on the outskirts of town different setup altogether."
  • "Jy gaan argumentsonthalwe, 50 werksgeleenthede skep. Maar, nou stink Mosselbaai en besoekers bly weg. Hoeveel mense gaan hulle werk dan verloor? 'n 1000? 10000? Ter wille om net 50 werk te gee. Kyk na die groter prentjie en die skade wat dit kan berokken." 

Underneath is a link to the petition that we launched late last night on public demand. Within hours, more than 130 people signed it and over 340 recommended the petition. 

Residents feel the potential impact of the stinky fish meal factory on the tourism industry and the overall image of the town as a coveted holiday destination, will be devastating.

If you are against this industry, please sign the petition and give reasons why you object to its establishment. We need as many petitioners as possible to stop this smelly business in its tracks before it's too late!

Photo: Fishmeal Factory - Processing fish at fishmeal factory in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Cape-CFFA.


Photo: The controversial fish meal plant in Hout Bay that has had residents and tourists up in arms for decades - without a proper solution.


Petition link:

Read the background here:



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Die inheemse inwoners van Power Town langs die Klein-Brakrivier is 'n trotse en vredeliewende groep mense wat net 'n rustige en vreedsame bestaan in hul eie klein gemeenskappie soek waar baie van hulle al tot 24 jaar woon.


'n Klompie jare terug het die munisipaliteit selfs mooi huise vir hulle opgerig, 'n pragtige créche is deur die Distriksmunisipaliteit vir die kleingoed aangebring en oorhoofse kragkabels en straatligte getuig van gróót planne om dié woonbuurt 'n spogbuurt vir die boorlinge te maak wat nie soos plakkers wil lewe of behandel wil word nie, want hulle IS nie plakkers of "inkommers" nie.


Derduisende rande is bestee aan argiteksvoorstellings, bouplanne en voorstelle oor hoe om die eens statige ou kragstasie met sy rotsvaste  fondasie en stewige mure op te knap en te omskep in 'n trotste gebou wat vir velerlei doeleindes benut kan word. Min mense weet dat die indrukwekkende kragstasie 'n maand ná sy ingebruikneming weer gesluit moes word omdat daar nie voorsien is dat die sout seewater van die Klein-Brakrivier die masjinerie so vinnig sou laat roes en erodeer nie. * Lees meer heel onder. 


Drome en verwagtinge is geskep en die inwoners het hul nederige huisies netjies, huislik en gerieflik ingerig in die hoop dat spoeltoilette, elektrisiteit en ander geriewe om 'n menswaardige bestaan te voer, spoedig sal volg.


Inwoners het vertrekke in die ou kragstasiegebou skoongemaak en Sondae word hier kerkdienste gehou. 


Foto: Nog 'n vertrek in die ou kragstasiegebou is as kantoor ingerig waar die inwoners vergadering hou. Hier is Cedric Jansen, voorsitter van die Powertown Team, Sarah Jansen en Cecil Kiewiet (kassier) in die raadsaal. 

Groentetuine, vrugtebome en blomtuine is hier en daar tot stand gebring en daar is gewedywer oor wie se huis die mooiste is.


Inwoners het self hul huisie gelig en op stelte gebou om bo die 100-jaar-vloedlyn te wees. Hulle het kragmeters en betaal vir hul eie elektrisiteit, terwyl die woongebied se riool weekliks verwyder word. Hulle soek egter ook spoeltoilette om die emmerstelsel te vervang.


Van die huisies wat die Mosselbaai Munisipaliteit self vir die inwoners opgerig het.

 Toe kom die skok. Ewe skielik moet hulle oppak en trek na 'n gebied waar hulle ver van geriewe en hul geliefkoosde rivier is . . .

Redes en beloftes was daar baie. Hulle is glo in die vloedgebied en hul huise gaan weer oorstroom met die volgende vloed. Hulle gaan 'n "beter heenkome" hê in Sonskyn Vallei en netjiese huise gaan vir hulle gebou word en alle dienste sal verskaf word. 

Net soos wat in Power Town sou gebeur het.

Maar Powertown se oorspronklike boorlinge WIL nie in Sonskyn Vallei tussen "niks en nêrens" en "vreemdelinge" in 'n piepklein tweeslaapkamer-baksteenhuisie gaan woon nie en het dit van die begin af duidelik gemaak. Hulle HOU van hul eie blyplekkie waar hulle al jare lank as 'n gemeenskappie woon en wat hulle self mooi gemaak en ingerig het. Hier is hul loopafstand van hul werkplek en die skoolbus het altyd hul kinders sonder probleme vervoer.

Dis hul hartsplek waar hulle veilig en gelukkig voel en hulle pla niemand.


Een van die groot vertrekke in die kragstasiegebou wat die inwoners as 'n netjiese konsertsaal ingerig het.

Boonop is daar glo 'n groot gekonkel by Sonskyn Vallei met eienaars wat hul huise onderverhuur en/of een gesin wat nou sommer twee huise gekry het.

Volgens Cedric Jansen, voorsitter van die Powertown Team inwonersvereniging, het sowat 80 van die nuutgeboude huisies in Sonskyn Vallei reeds redelike barste weens knoeiwerk met die bouery. Vervoerprobleme omdat inwoners nou ver van winkels, werkplekke, skole en geriewe is en nie die ekstra hoë vervoerkoste kan bekostig nie, is nog 'n ernstige klagte. 


Sonskynvallei huisies

Van die eerste laekoste-huise wat in Sonskyn Vallei gebou is. Foto: Mossel Bay Advertiser 

Die redes vir die munisipaliteit se besluit om Powertowners "te verskuif" is baie grys en vaag. Die ou kragstasie staan al sedert 1965 daar en het nog NOOIT oorstroom nie. Dele van Powertown het wel met die vloed in 2007 oorstroom - net soos Riverside - maar inwoners meen die oorstroming kon voorkom gewees het as al die munisipale obstruksies in die sytak van die rivier nie daar was nie en beloftes om die woonbuurt te lig, uitgevoer is.

'n Hoogtemerk teen die muur van die kragstasiegebou wys duidelik tot watter hoogte Powertown se woongebied gelig sou word om dit bo die 100-jaar-vloedlyn te kry. Sedertdien het talle inwoners hul huisies self gelig en op stelte en stutmure gebou om te verseker hulle is bo die vloedlyn.


Dié merk teen die muur is vroeër aangebring ná samesprekinge om die woongebied te lig tot bokant die vloedlyn.

Powertowners se besware is egter: As hulle onder die vloedlyn is, is al die munisipaliteit se pomp- en kragstasiegeboutjies mos ook onder die vloedlyn. Riverside en al die ander huise en tennisbane aan die seekant tot in Beyersstraat ook. Hoekom moet net hulle dan trek?


Iets maak nie lekker sin nie en 'n mens kan hul wantroue en verset verstaan. Word hier 'n ander spogontwikkeling beplan? Wat gaan met die grond gemaak word as hulle almal weggetrek het? En hoekom is die vervalle ou kragstasie nooit ingeplof of opgeknap nie?

Die inwoners soek eerlike antwoorde op hul vrae. Hulle het selfs alternatiewe voorstelle gemaak om op ander grond buite die vloedlyn te gaan woon wat steeds in Klein-Brakrivier naby die rivier is. Hul voorstelle behels onder meer Erf 928 of Erf 140 en 143 tussen die N2 en R102.


Dié strook grond bo die treinspoor (Erf 928) in Klein-Brakrivier is een van die grondgebiede wat inwoners van Powertown voorgestel het as 'n alternatiewe woongebied as hulle gedwing word om uit Powertown te trek. Dit is steeds in Klein-Brakrivier en loopafstand van hul werkplekke. 

Niks het egter nog van dié voorstelle gekom nie en terwyl hulle 'n vergadering met die munisipaliteit belê het om oor dienslewering te praat, is aangekondig dat die "verskuiwing" van Powertown se inwoners na Sonskyn Vallei goed op dreef is. 

Lees meer in die brief:

 Dit herinner baie aan David Kramer se liedjie SKIPSKOP. En Distrik Ses. Vat jou goed en trek Ferreira . . . 

power town river9

Die sytak van die Klein-Brakrivier langs Power Town is oorgroei van digte riete, terwyl waterpypleidings van PetroSA en die munisipale watersuiweringswerke die rivier blokkeer. Dié pype en betonstruktuur is reg voor die kasduikers (culverts). 


Só lyk dit deesdae binne die ou kragstasie waar bome en plante deur die ruitlose vensters groei - almal met lugwortels! 



Die ou kragstasie wat nou vervalle en toegegroei is. Min mense ken egter die geskiedenis van dié indrukwekkende gebou met sy eens statige, geboë dakbalke wat kort nadat dit in gebruik geneem is, weer noodgedwonge gesluit moes word omdat die rivier se sout seewater die masjinerie laat roes en erodeer het. 

Lees gerus meer hieronder oor die geskiedenis van dé gebou en die ontstaan van Power Town.

power town bome

I later discovered what the reason for closing down and abandoning the power station was: Water from the Little Brak River was to be used for cooling and the foreign engineer who designed the power station did not incorporate the fact that the river is a tidal river! The water was thus salty seawater and not fresh water- causing corrosion of the machinery to occur much more than expected. It was apparently closed, and the machinery removed, in the first month of operation! The building has served interesting purposes since: A scene for the film called "The Golden Rendezvous" (based on the book by Alistair Maclean) was shot inside it in 1977. The motel across the road was consequently named after this film. A family friend used to dry flowers inside the sheltered structure as a hobby. It was then inhabited and used for salvaging building materials. Today it is used by the community for meetings and the local children like to play in the ruin.

Empowering power town: A contextual study that ascertains social and architectural sustainability

By Nellis Beyers

Design Research Project APG5058S Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Architecture (Professional) University of Cape Town School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics

Supervisors: Francis Carter, Nic Coetzer, Jo Noero & Alta Steenkamp

October 2010

Currently, all that exists on the Power Town site is a result of a series of misinterpretations of the landscape. My proposal for the rejuvenation of Power Town is generated by the opposite; by gaining a thorough understanding of the cultural landscape and context. Only then can a designer generate applicable, meaningful and innovative ideas.

Power Town should be allowed the opportunity to develop and evolve within its current cultural landscape. I intend to exploit the history and culture of Power Town and initiate a productive landscape. This would be a financial, social and architectural injection that would start to revive the area. Using materials originated from the context of Power Town makes for a productive construction that reflects the context and blends in with the landscape. These materials are readily available and by understanding and using them, a local vernacular architecture is started. I see society, nature, and culture as dynamic and unpredictable. These individual systems cannot be forced to develop, but certainly guided into a specific direction.

Ultimately, my architectural interventions will set up conditions that will serve as a catalyst for enabling a better relationship between these systems and my proposal will further be able to adjust to and accommodate the unpredictable needs of the future. 

The rejuvenation of the town and the adaptive reuse of the power station would eventually change Power Town to not be an eyesore for the neighbouring population, but rather a positive icon and even an attraction. It will build on existing memories and it will generate new ones that will all contribute to a new sense of belonging.


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The second MosJazz Festival that brought some of the world's best jazzers to Mossel Bay for four days of relaxing soul music and soulful companionship on the shore, was yet another sUnsational success!


Jazz fans crowding the stage to get a glimpse and pic of their idol, the legendary Judy Boucher. 

Approximately 3 000 jazz fans from all over - especially from Cape Town suburbs - trekked to the De Bakke/Santos resort for a four-day-festival of fun in the sun in a most scenic setting on the water's edge.

South African performers such as Karen Kortjé, Emo Adams, Soul Individual and the Rockets were equally well cheered, applauded and appreciated as international stars like Judy Boucher, Andrew Young, Choko and Phil Fearon.


Phil Fearon and Karen Kortjé had their fans at their feet at the 2nd MosJazz Festival at De Bakke.  

Despite the festive vibe, the crowd was well-behaved, peaceful and relaxed, and no incidents of violence or crime were reported. The noise factor was also greatly curbed after the organisers, Camissa Solutions, went to great trouble to alter the stage setting and sound levels to accommodate local residents after last year's complaints.

From Thursday to Sunday, De Bakke beach was definitely the jazziest seashore resort in the country/world? and we have the proof to boot! 


Special MosJazz T-shirts for the jazziest beach festival in the Southern Cape! 

Clarence Ford of the organisers, Camissa Solutions, wrote as follows:


We are happy to be able to report that all of our objectives for 2019 has been attained.
The Objectives being as follows:

1. Deliver an incident-free event.
2. Reduce hostility by reducing noise nuisance.
3. Deliver the growth (in year 2) to enable sustainability. In this regard, we can confirm that based on our 2019 success, 
MosJazz will be the biggest annual beach event on the South African calendar within four years.
4. Bring impetus to the local cultural economy. G Minor will perform at Jazz on the Rocks 2019. They worked hard and deserve this introduction to a broader audience. 
5. The People of Mossel Bay have shown their enthusiasm and support for this event.

Again, like is always the case, we have learnt plenty. Such learnings will be implemented for an even better experience at MosJazz next time around. We look to confirm such timing, as soon as we possibly can.

Thank you for your support and belief in us!!

 Also, scroll down to our previous posts for more pics of the weekend's fun-filled activities and ALL THAT JAZZ!

Sharlton Groenewald and Moné Cairncross helped us to capture the festivities - tag yourself and share - and if you are not in any of these, you were not there! 

More photos here and underneath:

Scroll down for our day-to-day coverage and photos of the four-day-festival: 

DAY 3:

MosJAZZ 2019 is in FULL SWING . . . in COLOUR . . . And somewhere in the crowd is YOU!

There's something special about a jazz crowd . . . despite their colourful, vibrant attire and cheerfulness, they are laid back, relaxed and totally in tune with the music that speaks to their soul . . . and they will travel around the Globe to follow the makers of that soulful music!


De Bakke beach was a kaleidoscope of colour this afternoon as the crowd started moving in for the highlight of the weekend's festival . . . and they kept coming and coming . . . ready for some jazzercise with their favourite jazzers!

On the stage today were Mano Smith & Ricochet; Ramon Alexander, Judy Boucher, Choko, Topdog, Heart & Soul, Karen Kortjé and Uncle Cal.

The weather played along and provided the most stunning setting and stage for another memorable session of Jazz on the Rocks!
(If you can't find yourself in any of the photos, you were not there!  )

DAY 1: 

AMAZING! Jazztastic! Phenomenal! Jazzmagorical! Jazzmania!  
That's how hundreds of jazz fans described the second outdoor MosJazz Festival that kicked off with a BANG last night on the beach at De Bakke in Mossel Bay.


A festive vibe and fabulous weather set the stage for another weekend of unbridled Jazz on the Rocks in the Happiest Holiday Town in the World.

The crowd of approximately 500 jazz lovers sang, swam, swayed, swung and swooned well into the night to the rhythmic beat of their favourite performers.


The impressive stage, set in a different position facing the sea to limit the noise factor, was built in record-time this year following last year's experimental exercise. The setting allows for easy viewing of the stage and plenty seating for daylong picnicking on the sand.


Last night's performers included the George band Sole Individuals, VJR, Fancy Galada, The Rockets and DJ Rory. Local photographer Nico Coetzee of PhotoCreate was there to capture the fun and ALL THAT JAZZ.

The MosJazz festival, featuring a star-studded programme of local and international artists, lasts till Sunday and should not be missed!

Sammy Webber doing his thing

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