<html> <head> <title>Writing-off of debt of fishing companies

Writing-off of debt of fishing companies

Writing-off of debt of fishing companies

27 June 2000

On Wednesday, 28 June 2000 at 11h30 at the Velddrift Library (Municipal building) a Fishing consultant, AWS, represented by Mr. A Slater, will be writing off the debt of R 208 326,73 of 43 fishing companies that were unsuccessful in their applications for fishing quotas in the past five years.

The total number of families involved is 65, with the number of affected dependants no less than 3000.

Said ANC Spokesperson on Fishing in the Provincial Legislature and Deputy Secretary Marius Fransman:

"It is a known fact that major discrepancies exists in the fishing industry, flowing from the Apartheid history where Coloureds and Africans were excluded from access to the resource and where white people through big companies monopolized the industry.

"This was again evident in the trial of former NNP MP, Abe Williams, where it became clear how the fishing industry was abused by the NP for their own narrow political agenda.

"It is these wrongdoings of the past that the new Government intends to correct. The Government started by opening up access rights to blacks, through the new Marine Resource Act.

"However, there are many poor people from fishing communities who form companies, and apply either through fishing consultants or lawyers for a quota, in the hope to be successful applicants. Not all such people are successful, and then end up with huge debts to pay and without any allocation.

"After requests by such companies, I approached some of these consultants, asking them to write off debt of such affected people.

"I am glad to announce that after an engagement between AWS, and myself and after listening to the plight of these fishermen, the consultancy, AWS, heeded the call, and decided to write off the debt of all the disadvantaged black companies, which were unsuccessful in their applications.

The ANC wants to welcome the steps taken by them, and call on all other consultants and lawyers to recognize the hardship of these fishing communities, and to equal what AWS has done, by also writing off these debts of their disadvantaged clients."

Issued by African National Congress Western Cape