All fishermen must go back to sea — Venaani

McHenry Venaani

Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani has called on all fishermen who are unemployed and who have been working as general workers to go back to sea.

Venaani made this call while engaging over 1 300 fishermen at Walvis Bay on Monday.

He is on a familiarisation visit to the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) and its executive management.

“These companies were given a Government Employment Redress Programme to provide tangible employment opportunities with complete salaries to unemployed fishermen,” Venaani said.

“When you are at sea as a fisherman with your hours, overtime and so forth, you can come out with N$18 000 to N$25 000, depending on the work you have done.

“Now, these companies put you at home, they park you and give you N$4 000. When you want to make noise about it, they tell you that you must not, but the profit they are making is three times more at sea,” he said.

According to Venaani, fishing companies could afford to pay fishermen good salaries even when they were at sea full-time, and could still make profit.

“From a fisherman, you are now a general worker and you get N$4 000, while they are making profit. That will end. I have a clear message that all the fishermen must go back to sea whether the government wants it or not,” Venaani said.

Venaani added that if a fishing company does not have a fishing vessel, it must not get fishing quotas.

“We don’t care but if you get a fishing quota, you must not leave anybody home. Nobody will work at home as a general worker and only 100 people are at sea. Profit must be shared,” he said.

“If the Government Employment Redress Programme is serious, it was supposed to protect the workers,” he said.

Earlier this month in parliament, Venaani questioned fisheries and marine resources minister Derek Klazen on whether he was aware of the challenges levelled against the Governmental Employment Redress Programme.

He also asked the minister to provide an update on the status of the programme in terms of the employment outcomes for fishermen in the hake sector.


The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation in 2020 initiated a novel strategy under the Government Employment Redress Programme to provide tangible employment with complete salaries to unemployed fishermen.

The agreement between the two ministries was reached in April that year, with terms of agreement stating that the hake industry has committed to permanent employment of 681 fishermen.

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