"Come 00h01 on April 1st, what poor sole will be left trying to save face for Tannie Tina?
With less than a week to go (Ed: Actually 3 days now) until the return of research and patrol boats to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, there is still no word on just how the SA Navy will ensure a “seamless” fisheries research and patrol service, as promised by our Minister (ed: The Department refuses to comment as their heads are too deep in the sand).
Fisheries operational staff tip-toeing the Foreshore corridors themselves have no clarity on what “the plan” is. All we know for sure is that come midnight on Saturday, we will have our hands full trying to come to terms with the effective management of assets worth more than R1 billion, with mounting public pressure to deliver on Tannie Tina’s promises to the taxpayer.
Oh, if only a boat were like a tractor, this would all be very straightforward. We would pick up 8 sets of keys and hang them up in the Acting DDG’s office. But we learn that a ship is a far more complex beast, which is why they are fondly called ‘she’. According to the maritime agency SAMSA, an ocean of international legislation and flag state requirements have to be met before the boats can even go to sea under DAFF and the Navy’s control. We are now aware that even the insurance expires at midnight on Saturday but no matter how wildly the red flags are waving, Tannie Tina just sees red herrings.
Perhaps the Minister – in her infinite wisdom - will spare her poor school of snoek at Fisheries a thought as she relaxes at the Cape Town Jazz Festival this weekend. Many of us wonder if, like last year (Ed: And in 2010), she will be a guest of Sekunjalo Investments? Clearly nothing fishy there as she declared the “gift”
(Ed: See http://www.parliament.gov.za/content/2011_2012%20MI%20Full%20List.pdf, pg 81 & http://www.parliament.gov.za/content/2010Disclosure.pdf, pg 73).
(Ed: In 2010 the Minister received 10 tickets and 6 tickets in 2011 with "unknown" values - hard to believe the Minister could not calculate the value of these 16 tickets).