DA welcomes interim measure in fishing rights debacle

The DA welcomes the temporary solution to allow fishermen to resume their work in the interim.

The DA is pleased that Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and her Department have heeded our calls for fishermen to use their old permits until appeal processes and proper policy procedures are adhered to.

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Currently, the interim agreement is as follows:

•Fishermen will be allowed to resume fishing activities on Friday 10 January 2014 after applying for exemption;
•Applicants will be given their score sheets, which will allow them to see how they have been scored and ranked;
•Applicants will also receive the reasons for the decisions taken on their applications in the adjudication process;
•Applicants whose applications were denied have 30 days to appeal, from the time they receive their score sheets and the reasons for denial;
•After which, the appeals are taken to the appeal authority, who then has 30 days to reach a decision; and
•During the appeal process, fishermen are allowed to fish given they provide evidence of their fishing activities between 2007 and 2012.

This interim solution is a victory for fishermen and their families who depend on their catch to survive and earn a decent living.

While we welcome the Department’s answer to our calls, we remain concerned that this is an interim move and a permanent solution must be reached without delay.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson must not take this opportunity to stall but speed up the process of dealing with the current queries, taking into account the interests of all fishing communities on our coastlines.

The DA will continue to fight for rights of fishing communities and ensure that a permanent solution is reached.

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