Seal Products employees up in arms over seal quota allocation

People still unemployed

04 October 2020 | Local News

Mario Katjau; Spokesperson; “We are affected by the ruling of your office…and many people were left jobless.”

Henties Bay • [email protected]


Approximately fifty employees of a Henties Bay-based seal harvesting company, Seal Products, held a peaceful demonstration on Saturday to express their dissatisfaction at a recent ruling by fisheries’ minister Albert Kawana, which they say has left them unemployed for months.

It is understood that Kawana recently wrote a letter to the manager of Seal Products, Gys Cilliers.

The letter contained a condition which stipulated that Seal Products would only receive seal quotas once 40% of the quotas have been allocated to the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL).

Seal Products employee spokesperson Mario Katjau handed over a petition to the chairperson of Henties Bay town council’s management committee, Michael Skini.

“We are affected by the ruling of your office (ministry of fisheries). Our time for seal harvesting was delayed and many people were left jobless. For 20 years, Seal Products has never been in this type of situation, but only this year in your office,” said Katjau.

He pleaded with the minister to prolong the harvesting time for seals to 30 November.

“We want the new quota to be 12 000 bulls in February to allow employees of Seal Products to work the entire year. Please use your office to provide enough seals for the Henties Bay community so that they sustain their needs.”

Skini said that town leaders are aware of the group’s concern.

“We have been informed already about the fishing quotas that Seal Products did not receive. We received this news with mixed feelings. As much as you are concerned, we as leaders are also equally concerned.”

According to Skini, the petition will be on the priority list on the agenda of the Henties Bay town council, so that it can be forwarded to the relevant minister, to allow him to follow up and address the community’s concern.

Skini urged the complainants to stay tuned to an upcoming announcement which fisheries minister Albert Kawana will make in Parliament on 7 October regarding their specific grievance.

Over 150 employees of Seal Products have been unemployed since November 2019.

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