A vision to serve the community
The vision of those behind the newly established company, Ehika Fishing, is not to enrich themselves but to give back to the community.
The well-being of the less privileged in the community is a priority for the company’s shareholders, who include Rojo van Wyk, Clive Johannes and Eddy van Wyk.
According to Rojo van Wyk, the thought behind the company was to assist widows and children of former fishermen in Walvis Bay. The company launched the Fishermen’s Widows Trust as part of its social responsibility programme, three weeks ago. The trust has a 40% stake in the company.
“The initial idea was to look after the widows of former fishermen, but that does not stop the trust from supporting other initiatives including education, for example. We want to look after women who lost their husbands at sea because they are struggling and nobody is really looking after them. We want to do something for the Walvis Bay community,” van Wyk told the Economist.
The Fishermen’s Widows Trust currently consist of about 30 women who will receive a monthly grant depending on the earnings the company generates.
Ehika also received land from the Walvis Bay municipality in order to finance the construction of an old age home in the Narraville suburban area.
The company first tried to obtain a quota nine years ago, but it was rejected. Eddy van Wyk and Clive Johannes applied again in 2010. Ehika Fishing finally received a horse mackerel quota of 10 000 ton last year.
“As per the terms of the quota, we can exploit horse mackerel for seven years. Ehika is part of a consortium of new rights holders under the Mack Fishing Group. As a group, we will sell our product to Erongo Marine, we entered into a ‘catch agreement’ with them. We choose to sell to a local company because foreigners do not re-invest in Namibia, they just take money out of the country,” said van Wyk.
He further says it would be great if the company could obtain more quota.
“About 30 000 ton will be enough for the Mack Group. Because we are all new rights holders, we are still checking the market out and learning every day,” van Wyk said.
The company will finalise all due processes by the end of the year before it becomes fully operational. Van Wyk is highly optimistic about the business, stating that there is a high demand for horse mackerel.
“The demand for horse mackerel is high especially in African countries such as Zimbabwe, Angola and Congo, because it is cheap. So I am optimistic about the business,” he concluded.