Small-scale fishing rights in Western Cape set to be scrapped, says Creecy

Small-scale fishing rights in Western Cape set to be scrapped, says Creecy

The internal audit process was launched in 2019 and concluded that the verification process was “wholly inadequate” and that the “results of these assessments cannot and should not be relied on for any decision-making purpose in terms of the regulations”.

Among the errors identified, said Modise, were problems such as the inaccurate capturing of information and the incorrect adjudication of applications by community panels.

“There was inconsistent application of criteria between communities, an incorrect and incoherent application and appeals process as well as incomplete and inaccurate data, including lost applications,” Modise said.

If the court application succeeds, registered individuals will have an opportunity to submit new information to support their applications.

Modise said: “While the minister understands that there are some communities who have no objection to the outcome of the verification process, these could not be singled out for different treatment given that the problems with the process are widespread that the only available option is to review the process for all communities in the Western Cape.”

In SA, between 90% and 95% of the small-scale fishers’ catch is destined for local consumption. Small-scale fishing contributed more than R3bn to GDP in 2019 and supported 15,000 jobs.

Last year, when issuing 15-year fishing rights to 20 co-operatives representing 1,500 small-scale fishers at Kwazakele, in the Eastern Cape, Creecy said the fisheries sector is an important element of the oceans economy strategy and the battle against poverty, inequality and economic challenges.