The Oceana Group, together with Safmarine and the Matzikama Municipality provide a lifeline for the impoverished town of Doringbaai on Cape West Coast.

The Western Cape Premier, Mr Ebrahim Rasool today officially opened ‘Die Hawe’, the name given to a new multi-purpose centre specially built for the West Coast community of Doringbaai. Oceana made a significant financial contribution towards the building of this facility, with shipping line Safmarine donating eight retired sea freight containers.

Doringbaai is a fishing community of about 2000 inhabitants, situated approximately 60km from Vredendal, with little in the way of formal housing, health services, job opportunities, recreation and educational facilities.

Following in-depth consultation with all stakeholders and the community, Oceana, Safmarine and the Matzikama Municipality became partners in building a much-needed multi-purpose centre. The centre will be used as a base for providing Educare facilities, training for job opportunities, recreation, and health and welfare services.

Neville Brink, Managing Director of Oceana Lobster, a subsidiary of Oceana said, “We have a long history of involvement in fishing communities along the West Coast. This is because we are committed to working in partnership with the communities as a responsible corporate citizen, in promoting long-term sustainable economic growth and development.

“Our partnership with the Doringbaai Community is just one of many community projects. Initially our involvement only focused on the safety, education and development of a crèche for the young people. However, both our involvement and investment has since grown considerably. Through a consultative partnership with the Doringbaai Community, Safmarine, Matzikama Municipality, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation and Grassroots as the facilitators, today we are gathered here to celebrate the official opening of ‘Die Hawe’. The centre consists of a training centre, senior citizens centre, an Educare centre and a communal hall,” commented Brink.

“I am pleased to say that during construction of this multi-purpose centre, there has been job creation, skills transfer and empowerment through capacity building in the community. Positive spin-offs like these embrace the values and principles adopted by Oceana. We are delighted to have played a major role in enhancing the quality of life in the Doringbaai Community. This process has evolved over 32 long months and required a participatory and transparent process which empowers the community to take control of their own lives and run ‘Die Hawe’ on a self-sufficient basis,” he said.