PRINT
ANC CALLS FOR CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH TO TRANSFORMATION OF THE FISHING INDUSTRY

ANC CALLS FOR CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH TO TRANSFORMATION OF THE FISHING INDUSTRY

2 March 1999

The ANC in the Western Cape is disturbed at the way in which the restructuring of the Fishing Industry is being used as a political football by the NNP.

It was the NP government which directly marginalised and impoverished the Coloured fishing communities of the Western Cape. These communities were denied access to the fishing resource. Over the last two weeks we've heard the NP complaining about the implementation of the new Marine Living Resources Act.

Commenting on the transformation of the fishing industry and the role of the NP, Mr Maruis Fransman, ANC Deputy Secretary said;

"The immediate question one needs to ask is what is the political objective of the NP in this regard? Are they once again using the suffering of the poor in the fishing communities for political purposes?

"The ANC holds the view that the restructuring of the industry is a difficult process, and that political parties should leave implementation to the department and industry stakeholders.

"It is the understanding of the ANC in the Western Cape that the legislation passed in 1998, head the full support of all the parties, including the NP.

"This Act creates, for the first time ever, the basis for fair and equitable access to, and the sustainable utilization of the marine resource. It also put in place a framework to ensure that allocation of access rights is not based on links with the previous NP regime, but rather on objective criteria. For the first time in history it is now based on non-racialism and equity. "The NP is uncomfortable with the reality that they no longer control fishing for the benefit of a small elite.

"We challenge the NP to clarify whether they support the restructuring of the industry for the benefit of the Coloured and African fishermen or whether they want us to go back to their allocation system which was based on racialism and the exploitation of the environment.

"At present the process of transformation is being held up because of an application to the High Court to set aside the allocation of quotas by the transformation council. Untold suffering is being caused by those who have always benefited and are now not prepared to share the resources.

"The ANC is calling on all concerned in the lobster court case to settle the matter as speedily as possible, so that fishermen and workers in the industry can go out to catch and feed their families.

Issued by the ANC Western Cape. For further information contact Marius Fransman on 238 333 pager ANC1

back