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Oceana to keep Hout Bay factory

OCEANA announced this week that it will no longer close down its controversial fishmeal factory in Hout Bay. Its 98 workers are celebrating the news as a victory.

November 4, 2015

OCEANA announced this week that it will no longer close down its controversial fishmeal factory in Hout Bay. Its 98 workers are celebrating the news as a victory.

\"We’ve worked with labour, with national government and with local government to secure the future of the Hout Bay facility so that it can continue for the coming five years,\" said Oceana CEO Francois Kuttel.

Oceana has not made a profit at that factory for three years, after cutting back its fishing days from 120 to 60, to quell growing anger from a group of residents who were unhappy with the operating smell. The company blamed its decision to pull out of Hout Bay in August, on the group demanding the elimination of the smell.

However, it turned out there was a much larger and more vocal group who demanded that Oceana remain to ensure the community did not lose its jobs.
Mr Kuttel said he was pleasantly surprised at the level of support from various stakeholders within Hout Bay as well as from local and national government.

\"We came to the conclusion that there were a greater number of residents in Hout Bay that wanted us to stay, compared to the smell complaints,\" he said.

The company will now increase its 60-day target back up to 120 to return to profitability, upgrade its smell removing technology and improve the production process.

Mr Kuttel said Oceana would continue to engage with the Fresh Air for Hout Bay group to find ways of reducing the smell and would welcome any future solutions that were agreed upon by the majority of the community.

Source: Matthew le Cordeur, Fin24. Read the full article here.



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