World Food Day 2020 – 16th October

World Food Day 2020: Sustainable seafood links ocean health with people’s lives and plates

Food insecurity is a reality for many South Africans with nearly half of the nation’s households living under the poverty line and not being able to afford basic healthy eating. Now more than ever before, our food systems must be sustainable, stronger and resilient to shocks.

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Over the last six weeks, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) steered a consumer awareness campaign to promote the importance of sustainable seafood. As campaign ‘Happy Heart, Happy Ocean’ draws to a close this Friday, on World Food Day, the MSC encourages South Africans to support the fight against hunger and food insecurity.

Before COVID-19 hit our shores, South Africa already had over 11 million people suffering from food insecurity. “The significance of World Food Day is to grow awareness of the worldwide crisis of malnutrition and hunger. The pandemic did bring major awareness to the lack of food security we face as a country, and this World Food Day is a great opportunity to continue the consciousness and discussions on how to best achieve zero hunger by 2030”, explains Brain Nell, Chief Executive Officer of Rise Against Hunger Africa.

Now more than ever before our food systems must be sustainable, stronger and resilient to shocks. But what role does sustainable seafood play in combatting food insecurity?

The largest survey of its kind, involving more than 20,000 people across 23 countries and conducted by independent insights consultancy, GlobeScan, revealed that 77% of South African seafood shoppers already made changes to the way they choose and buy seafood in the last year, in order to protect fish in our oceans so future generations can enjoy wild-caught seafood.

Not only is sustainable seafood better for the environment and helping to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, Live Below Water; it also helps ensure a steady supply of an important natural resource that people around the globe depend on for sustenance and their livelihoods

MSC certified fisheries also support the delivery of sustainable development targets relating to food security and sustainable economic growth. Maintaining or rebuilding fish stocks to sustainable levels is essential to ensure the long term availability of food.
Louanne Mostert, Communications Manager at the South African branch of the MSC explains: “Sustainability is a key driver for seafood purchase in South Africa. When you choose certified sustainable seafood, you play a part in safeguarding our oceans and securing seafood for future generations – a small, but significant, role in fighting food insecurity.

Though some consumers may believe they need to pay a significant premium to include sustainable seafood in their diets, that’s not accurate. Tinned fish has shown to be an affordable, accessible

protein option compared to other meats. Even a single tin of fatty fish can provide up to 50% of one’s daily protein requirements and is a great source of vitamins, essential omega-3 fatty acids, iron and calcium.

So, next time you’re out shopping for seafood at your local supermarket, look for the MSC blue fish label and remember to buy an extra tin to donate to initiatives such as Rise Against Hunger and FoodForward SA.”

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Swart Maandag (Black Monday) Drive

PRESS RELEASE

The organizers of the Swart Maandag (Black Monday) peaceful protest drive based in the beautiful town of Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape would like to inform you of the following.

We are a small town with a BIG voice, but also known to the rest of the world as one of the best surfing spots ever. Every year the best athletes (surfers) come from all over the globe, to compete in the most prestigious surfing competitions the world has ever seen.

It is with that in mind that we would like to invite you to cover our peaceful protest event.

We are expecting a good turnout for our peaceful protest drive as we are surrounded by an enormous farming community.

The village of Jeffreys Bay is supported by our farming community, as that is where they shop. We, in turn, support our farming community as we are dependent on one another.

OUR CAUSE

  • To stop the farm killings
  • To create awareness that without our farming communities there will be a food shortage
  • We would like our government to commit themselves to improve the security of our farming communities with urgency
  • We would like our government and our local communities to know that the farmers are not our enemies but rather the people that feed us

and finally

  • We would like our government to consider the farm killings a PRIORITY crime.

We would also like to invite all the media to cover our peaceful protest drive to help highlight the plight of our farmers.

Kind Regards
The Organizers
Swart Maandag
Jeffreys Bay

Black Monday

 

Africa’s First Adaptive Learning Online High School Launches

PRESS RELEASE

Prestigious, independent school, Bridge House and award-winning EdTech company, Digemy, have joined forces to create ConnectEd – the first Independent Examinations Board (IEB) curriculum online high school in Africa to utilise a dynamic adaptive learning platform. The school will launch initially for Grades 10 and 11, with other grades to follow next year and into 2022.

Bridge House and Digemy have an aligned vision to change the traditional teaching model and, in the process, enable a first-rate education to be accessible to a much wider audience. “A key issue with the current education system is that all students are expected to work at the same pace,” says Kate Cowling, Head of College Academics at Bridge House. “This system does not allow for students with differing abilities to engage and absorb information at different rates, nor does it acknowledge that each student comes with their own unique background and prior knowledge. Teachers, therefore, spend a lot of time repeating content until all the students have a solid understanding of the work. A second issue is that teachers are currently unable to make real-time data-driven assessments to identify which concepts individual students may struggle with as these insights are not automated and readily available.”

As Kobus Louw, CEO of Digemy, explains, “The adaptive learning approach provided by Digemy and utilised by ConnectEd addresses both of these issues. The ConnectEd platform is powered by neuroscientific algorithms that identify each student’s knowledge gaps and adapt the repetition of questions and content accordingly, providing a tailored and effective personalised learning plan. The result: a decrease in time spent learning and an increase in retention.”

World-class academic content based on the IEB curriculum created and developed by experienced Bridge House School staff will be provided to students via multimedia micro-module lessons. Personalised support will be provided through a bespoke facilitators’ programme and timetabled weekly live group meets for all subjects, both of which will provide a collaborative learning community.

ConnectEd will also empower students to take ownership of their personal, non-academic development with access to experienced professionals and inspiring mentors who will present masterclasses to expand students’ knowledge of the world beyond school. Students will have the opportunity to learn essential life skills and undertake curated supplementary courses in a number of subjects including personal financial management, memory mastery and entrepreneurship, amongst others.

“Bridge House School holds true to the core values of its founders in providing a pioneering, dynamic and forward-thinking education for our students. “We are truly delighted to be launching ConnectEd, which will adhere to the intrinsic philosophy and offering of our campus school and which will enable us to significantly extend the reach of our successful brand of education. Ultimately, we hope to engender a transformational impact. With ConnectEd, students will be carefully supported on each step of their academic journey and will have every opportunity and resource to fulfil their individual potential and prepare themselves for success in our rapidly-changing world,” concludes the Head of School, David Clark.

To apply for ConnectEd or learn more about Bridge House and the Digemy platform, visit

connectedschool.africa.

About ConnectEd

ConnectEd is the first IEB curriculum online high school in Southern Africa to be hosted on an adaptive learning platform. By combining world-class academics from Bridge House School and Digemy’s data-driven learning methodologies, students and teachers are provided with a unique adaptive learning experience that optimises time, increases learning retention, and provides tailored opportunities for personal growth.

Kouga residents and businesses have been urged to continue using water sparingly.

“Some much-needed rain has fallen in the catchment areas, but not enough to make a significant difference to the dam levels.

“This means we cannot relax yet and must continue doing all we can to save water,” cautioned Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks.

He said the level of the Kouga Dam had increased by almost two percent this month following some rainfall in the Langkloof catchment areas .

Kouga Dam levels end of September

“The dam level was at 8,09% at the end of September. This climbed to 9,03% on Monday this week, with further inflow expected.

“While this brings some relief, the level remains dangerously low and is not expected to increase far beyond 10%,” he said.

According to the latest information from Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the level of the Impofu Dam inched up from 18,55% at the end of September to 18,97% this week.

The level of the Churchill Dam increased from 53,08% to 62,92% over the same period and the Loerie Dam from 29,97% to 44,84%.

Kouga Dam

Photo by Jacques van der Merwe: The level of the Kouga Dam has increased slightly over the past week.

Concern for the oceans drives consumers to ‘vote with their forks’ for sustainable seafood

South African consumers are leading the world in consumer activism to protect our oceans and the seafood we all love. Choosing seafood with the blue MSC label is just one easy way to take action for our oceans this World Oceans Day.

High levels of concern for our oceans are driving a growing wave of consumer activism, research for the Marine Stewardship Council reveals, as consumers increasingly ‘vote with their forks’ to safeguard our oceans.

The largest survey of its kind, involving more than 20,000 people across 23 countries and conducted by independent insights consultancy, GlobeScan, reveals that 77% of South African seafood shoppers already made changes to the way they choose and buy seafood in the last year, in order to protect fish in our oceans.

Consumer activism includes switching to brands or products that say they help protect the oceans or fish (37%), buying different seafood species (22%) and changing where they buy seafood (18%). Nearly 9 out of 10 South African seafood consumers are prepared to take further action in the future to safeguard our oceans.

These actions are being fuelled by the worry held by 42% of South Africans that their favourite fish won’t be available to eat in 20 years’ time. For plenty more fish to be left in the sea, seafood consumers say buying fish and seafood from sustainable sources is vital.

Among the preferred fish and seafood species, a third of South Africans indicated their love for hake. Now in its 16th year of MSC certification, South Africa’s hake trawl was the first hake fishery in the world, and the second groundfish fishery, to be certified against the MSC Fisheries Standard. Brands such as I&J, SeaHarvest and Woolworths’ homebrand sell a wide range of MSC certified Cape Hake.

A number of long-term ecological and economic gains have been achieved by the hake fishery since its first certification in 2004. Optimised fishing practices have led to major environmental improvements including a 90% decline in seabird mortalities associated with the fishery.  

A third of South African seafood lovers say they look for ecolabelled products when shopping, particularly 18-24 year olds and shoppers with children1. Choosing products with the blue MSC label allows consumers to enjoy eating seafood in the knowledge that they have made a positive choice to support well-managed, sustainable fisheries.

Oceans contain up to 80% of life on earth 2, with seafood providing an important source of protein to more than 3 billion people across the world 3.  However, a third of fisheries around the world have been fished beyond sustainable limits, and a further 60% 4 are fished to their maximum capacity.

This World Oceans Day (8th June), the independent, not-for-profit Marine Stewardship Council is launching a new global campaign Little Blue Label, Big Blue Future. The aim is to encourage more consumers to switch to seafood that is certified to its rigorous ‘blue label’ standard.

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive at the Marine Stewardship Council said: “With overfishing, climate change and pollution putting increasing pressure on our oceans, the choices we make as consumers have never been more important. This survey shows people really do care where their seafood comes from and how it is sourced.

At a time when the seafood industry is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we can all play a part in supporting fishers committed to sustainable practises, helping to protect marine ecosystems and safeguarding our seafood supplies for future generations. Choose certified sustainable seafood by looking out for the blue MSC label.”

Please see additional comments and contributions by industry and environmental conservation and sustainability organisations below.

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For media enquiries please contact:

Louanne Mostert
Marketing & Communications Manager, MSC South Africa
Louanne.Mostert@msc.org

Land Expropriation Bill – Dear SA asks for help

MEDIA RELEASE

Dear South Africa, an NGO facilitating public participation, notes a drastic swing in public opinion on the proposed amendment to the constitution catering for expropriation without compensation.

In December 2019, Parliament invited the public to provide written comment by 29 February, on a draft amendment to the Constitution catering for expropriation without compensation. Under South African laws, the government is compelled to grant the public an opportunity to provide an influencing comment on all policy and legislative amendments before implementation. However, such opportunities are often inadequately announced or facilitated, and extracting outcomes information from the government is challenging.

Alongside their 78 other participation campaigns, DearSA has been at the forefront of facilitating public participation by individually delivering over 520,000 public comments to Parliament during this Constitutional Amendment process.

“Although we have seen a concerning overall decline in public participation in this third round, we do note an increase in opposition to the constitutional amendment,” says Rob Hutchinson, MD of DearSA.

Participation from the “in favour” camp has significantly decreased while the “opposed” crowd has grown. Of the 190,573 who participated in this third round, 171,655 (90%) oppose the amendment, 14,870 support it and 4,048 partially.

“In the first round of June 2018, we received over 100,000 public comments in favour of amending the Constitution – 44% of the total participants. This latest third round has seen only 14,870 (8%) directly supporting the amendment,” says Hutchinson.

A full report and list of comments is available for download at this link on DearSA’s website. https://dearsouthafrica.co.za/constitution-eighteenth-amendment-bill/report/

The Committee is now hosting public hearings during March and April to enable those with limited access to internet or data to provide comment. DearSA will be closely monitoring the hearings to ensure a fair and accurate process is followed.

What will happen after the public hearings?

The AdHoc Committee will return the Bill to the National Assembly after considering all the public input. The members of the National Assembly will then vote on the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill. If passed, the Bill will then be brought before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Once passed, the law will allow for the expropriation of land AND property without compensation.

Objectives of the Bill

Subsection 2 (b); Provides for a court of law to make a decision for nil compensation when land or property is expropriated for land reform.

Subsection 3; Sets out the conditions and circumstances that must be considered when a decision is made by a court regarding the amount of compensation.

Subsection 3A; National legislation must be passed that outlines the circumstances when a court may arrive at nil compensation for expropriated land or property e.g. The Expropriation Bill.

Why is Parliament conducting public hearings again?

Parliament, mandated by the Constitution, must ensure that the public is involved in all its processes, including law-making. To satisfy this mandate, the Ad Hoc Committee is inviting all interested and affected parties, individually and or organised, to participate in the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, as it relates to Section 25.

The Committee will consider all public input on the amendment of the Constitution in order for the NA to pass the Bill.

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