The Minister of Fisheries proposed yesterday in Parliament that the Fisheries Branch which has always been located in Cape Town be moved to Pretoria! Apparently she thinks that fisheries considers itself a provincial function of sorts and not a national function! Had the minister of fisheries remotely understood fisheries, she would know that more than 80% of all commercial fishing activity happens in the Western Cape! Or did I miss something and do we land fish in Gauteng these days?
More than 90% of all recreational fishing takes place in the Western Cape.
Minister, please explain to us how on earth will fishery managers regulate and manage fisheries from Pretoria?
How will liaison and co-ordination with the fishing industry (which is based in the Western Cape, by the way, minister) take place? How will the scientific and management working group meetings take place with the fishing industry? How will compliance be regulated on the slipways and landings sites? How will administration take place. In any case, all permit applications and other regulatory matters have to take place in person in Cape Town at the offices of the Fisheries Branch. This requires fishermen in any case to travel from the Southern Cape coast, West Coast, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape to Cape Town to hand in applications or appoint Cape Town based consultants to lodge applications on their behalf. Will fishermen have to travel to Pretoria each time they have to make a fishing permit application or apply for export permits. We issue 3000 fishing permits annually and more than 12000 export permits annually. The last time I checked, there were no fisheries experts and administrative consultants based in Pretoria!
Will managers fly down to Cape Town 20 times a month and stay at five star hotels? Will you relocate all 700 staff from Cape Town to Pretoria?
It is frightening how this woman repeatedly spews out nonsense on such a consistent basis! It is inconceivable and an indictment on us that we allow such levels of idiocy and utter stupidity to govern us.
Minister! Do us all a favour and resign.