The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance hosted a Grand Opening for a fishing spot that has been closed for years. The Grunter Gully Grand Opening marked the beginning of a new journey for the Subsistence Fisherfolks in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) in South Africa. The fishing spot had been closed for many years but with the approval from Transnet a Public company with the South African Government as the sole shareholder1, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and KwaZulu Natal Subsistence Fishing Forum (KZNSFF) were given the opportunity to make the environment clean and safe for fishers. 

The re-opening which took place on the 28th of April 2023 had over 200 Subsistence Fisherfolks in attendance. The goal was to create a positive first impression and generate a strong movement to protect the area of Grunter Gully. The re-opening sets the tone for future success which will establish a strong brand identity and signalling to the public that business is ready to serve and satisfy their needs.

The co-ordinator of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) Desmond D’Sa in his remarks opined that this spot would give fisherfolks especially those who cannot afford boats or to hire a boat, the privilege to fish off the banks. 

John Peter, the chairperson of the KZNSFF said due to high unemployment rate and the number of people living below the poverty line, many of our subsistence fisherfolks are now reliant on catching fish to put food on their tables or to sell and earn an income.

Some fisherfolks expressed joy over the re-opening of the grunter gully stated that Grunter Gully has great history behind it as we use to fish here about 25 years ago. Fisherfolks are glad for the area to open as it will save on travelling cost.

The grand opening was headlined by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, speeches by dignitaries and business leaders and a well needed engagement with the communities of South Durban. The re-opening of the gully will further expose the fishers to a high catch, safe and conducive environment as well as good health for all.