Monday, April 16, 2012

Fisheries Minister's Rhetoric

The Business Day today reports that the Minister holds the view that she can withdraw the rights of fishing companies that have changed their "BEE" credentials as this is contrary to the conditions of granting their fishing rights.

Unfortunately, our Minister appears to once again not be familiar with the provisions of the Marine Living Resources Act and nature of the fishing rights allocated.

Firstly, the Minister does not have the legal authority to make fishing rights subject to "BEE" credentials in terms of section 18. Secondly, none of the fishing rights allocated are subject to such conditions or any condition related to "BEE", save for specific conservation and management measures as provided for under section 18(7) of the MLRA.

Further, criticism of the transfer policy and its limited focus is not anti-transformation. As this BLOG has made clear and as it is apparent from actual case studies in various sectors such as hake long line and west coast rock lobster, enforcement of the transfer policy is in fact undermining black economic empowerment.

Unfortunately, our Minister and her advisers choose to remain blissfully ignorant of the economic and social realities of the commercial fishing industry by simply never engaging with industry whether regularly (or at all) or honestly for that matter.

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