Monday, May 16, 2011


Feike has reported that the Minister of Fisheries made a series of sudden appearances in local fishing communities brandishing R25 million in cheques for fisheries projects. Co-incidentally, her appearance from obscurity happened days before the 2011 Local Government Elections.

The Minister is now on record as stating that her R15 million project cheque give to the Gansbaai community is intended for an abalone hatchery and abalone cage ranching project (involving a further R10 million) which will employ in the region of 300 people and turn fishers in fish farmers!

Just when you think this Minister cant make more ridiculous and populist statements, she proves you wrong! Is she happy to deceive the desperately poor fishers and members of these communities or does she just mouth off without question the nonsense fed to her by her officials? Either way, her comments are shocking.

Firstly, fishermen are not fish farmers, let alone farmers of abalone, which is a highly complex, high risk science (especially in the Overberg). Further, hatcheries generally require highly skilled personnel such as hatchery managers and technicians and a group of low skilled employees who are responsible for sorting and general maintenance. Where do fishers fit into the hatchery employment structure? And secondly, could she please explain how she plans on creating 300 jobs based on her department's investment of R10 million in ranching and R15 million in a hatchery? We can confidently state that like her government's commitment of creating 500 000 jobs last year (when 1 million were in fact lost), the Minister's "300 jobs" promise is unfortunately more fairytales coupled with a bit of vote-buying.

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