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Issue No:85
  • :0976 1121
  • :May
  • :2021

Samudra Report No.85, May 2021


South Africa / COVID-19

The Relic of Apartheid

A research report uncovers the historical injustice meted out to Indian-origin subsistence fishers in South Africa who have to deal with the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic

 This article is by Kira Erwin (, Senior Researcher, Urban Futures Centre, Durban University of Technology and Jackie Sunde (, Researcher, One Ocean Hub Global Project, University of Cape Town, South Africa

In March 2020, the South African government declared COVID-19 a national disaster under the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002. This introduced, overnight, regulations that prescribed the activities regarded as ‘essential’ to society. These lockdown regulations set in motion a series of administrative reactions that have revealed the deep-seated and stubborn inequalities in South Africa and the underbelly of the post-apartheid state. The impacts of these regulations were devastating for a specific groups of subsistence fishers from Durban in the province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN), along the eastern seaboard.

These fishers include subsistence fishers of Indian origin, joined by the non-racial community of poor, subsistence line fishers, forming the KZN Subsistence Fisher’s Forum...

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