The Federation welcomes Minister for Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy’s bold and long overdue postponement of the allocation of fishing quotas across the twelve commercial sectors.
This is a welcome and bold intervention. It was long overdue. For years small scale fishing communities have been neglected in the allocation process. The Department’s entire system has been riddled with corruption and abuse.
The government’s policy is clear and progressive that mall scale fishing communities must be prioritised in the allocation of quotas. This is all the more critical in the face of declining stocks, especially inshore but all too often this is not done. Instead, we see a corrupt elite colluding with certain officials contaminating the entire process.
The federation believes that a comprehensive forensic audit must be done to root out role players in the industry that are just rent-seekers and who should not have fishing quotas.
COSATU further believes that the rights need to be reallocated to give preference to traditional fishing communities. Workers also need to benefit directly from fishing rights given to commercial companies, e.g. through.
The fishing industry has been plagued with corruption and domination of the sector by historical companies. It is time for this to end. The Government as part of its drive to imprison the corrupt in the country must do an audit of people who got fishing rights illegally.
COSATU is concerned that those who have the present rights will effectively have their rights extended, with the delay in the allocation. Those companies should be paying a levy for the interim period to fund thorough transformation in the sector.
COSATU further believes that a representative from Labour should be included in the consultative advisory forum established by the Department to resolve the issues plaguing the industry.
For questions call Tony Ehrenreich, COSATU Deputy Parliamentary Coordinator at 082 7733194.