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The civil rights organisation Cape Forum learned on 1 February that the ANC, specifically the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), had once again postponed the granting of fishing rights until October. When these rights are granted, they will be valid for 15 years.
This announcement by the minister, Barbara Creecy, to postpone this process once again borders on unacceptable precisely because it has already been postponed, delayed and started anew so many times. Several fishermen have already given up and some have lost everything. The Cape Forum is in contact with several fishing communities whose children are no longer able to continue their studies due to a lack of funds. Because of this delay, the children are now also unable to work for their family businesses, which leads to the impoverishment of entire families and communities.
“At a time when the economy is shrinking, and interest rates are rising, which results in increased food prices, South Africa’s small-scale as well as commercial fishermen are deliberately being cut out of the economy by the minister. This policy is unacceptable,” says Tommy van Zyl, Coordinator for Cape Forum.
Creecy mentioned that they had received a record number of complaints and appeal applications. Yet nowhere is it stated that the online system was faulty for months. Reasons such as these resulting in the delay of granting fishing rights are not mentioned.
The Cape Forum will continue its campaign against the government and is preparing for its first court case in the High Court in Pretoria.
Issued by AfriForum