Welcome to Fresh Air for Hout Bay
Fresh Air for Hout Bay (FAHB) is a community interest group concerned about the odour pollution emitted from the Oceana fishmeal processing plant in Hout Bay. Since 2014, we’ve been working to understand the situation and identify ways to solve it. The issues are complex, far-reaching and sensitive and there is no easy solution.
On the one hand, the Oceana plant plays an important socio-economic role in terms of jobs, social contributions and cultural heritage, and it cannot simply be ‘shut down’ without serious socio-economic consequences. There is also no apparent technological solution that can be used to eliminate the smell. On the other hand, all South Africans share a Constitutional right to live in an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being, and that they can enjoy. Many in the community believe the odour pollution infringes on that right and contributes to a series of health, socio-economic and well-being ills.
A solution needs to be found.
FAHB’s main objective is to help create a healthy, positive and sustainable environment for the people of Hout Bay, one that is not marred by the odour pollution from Oceana’s plant. As such, we believe that:
- All people have the right to live in a healthy and positive environment and should not be forced to compromise their environment to meet their basic needs
- The odour pollution from the factory negatively impacts the health, well-being, and socio-economics of people in the community
- Alternative enterprises need to be found that meet the needs of local communities and contribute to a positive environment
Unfortunately there is no easy answer, there is no single solution, and this will take time.
To help find a solution, FAHB needs your support. We need to hear your thoughts and ideas; we need to know how the odour pollution impacts you personally and professionally; we need you to help us gather information, and we need you to be an active participant in this process. This website should tell you everything you need to do that and we will continuously provide updates to keep you informed.
FAHB firmly believes the situation can change and we are committed to finding a sustainable solution to benefit all people in Hout Bay.
What can you do right now?
If you support what FAHB is advocating for, there are 8 easy things you can do to help.
- We need to demonstrate how many people support our cause and to do this, we need you to register. It will take 3 minutes, you will be added to our database and will receive periodic correspondence from our organising team.
- FAHB believes that a long-term and sustainable solution needs to be found and FAHB is petitioning the City of Cape Town to do this. The more signatories we have, the more we will be able to find a solution that protects the interests of everyone.
Write to the City of Cape Town.
- We need the City of Cape Town to understand the severity of the situation and we need to provide them with accurate, reliable information. Send them an email and include the following information: date, time, location and impact experienced. Be honest and explain how the odour pollution impacts you. Please be respectful in your emails – we need the City to work with us to help solve this problem. For all the email addresses, right click over this hyperlink, select ‘copy email address’ and paste these into your email.
Follow us on social media.
- Keep up to date with FAHB correspondence on our Facebook page, join our FAHB discussion forum to share ideas, and follow our Twitter handle. Use the hashtags #OceanaStinks #FreshAirHoutBay and include the handles @CityofCT @WesternCapeGov @LuckyStarSA to help us gain momentum. Share information and help us have a discussion in a constructive manner.
- Listen to the song “Lucky Star Ain’t What You Are” written and performed by Ike Moriz, and maybe this will inspire you to do something creative of your own. We need some fun and creative ways of communicating with people, so please send us your ideas.
- This situation will only be solved through constructive collective action. If you have a background in marketing or law, are involved in research or business, have contacts or connections that could be useful, an idea for a social action or event, or even how we can better manage this group, please share this with us. We need a range of different skills and ideas to find a solution and everyone is welcome.