Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 FRAP Receipting Dates: Who Knows?

On 17 July 2013, the Fisheries Minister gazetted the times, dates and venues for the receipting of long term fishing right application forms in Government Gazette Notice 751 of 17 July 2013. 

This Gazette specified that applications were to be collected from various locations between 22 July and 16 August. The Gazette also specified that applications must be handed in at the specific collection venues between 2 September and 13 September. 

Paragraph 4.1 of the Gazette stated that the late submission of applications will be refused. 

A letter (NOT an amendment Gazette) issued by the Fisheries Department on 22 August 2013 stated that the Minister of Fisheries had decided to extend the application receipting process to 6 September 2013. The letter is silent on a receipting deadline or process. 

The Minister has not published an amendment gazette giving effect to the unsigned letter she issued on an ad hoc basis on 22 August 2013. Furthermore, the legally binding application submission period has begun to run (2 September to 13 September) in terms of the 17 July 2013 Gazette. The Minister has also failed to amend this application submission period.  

The Department's ongoing chaotic and appallingly poor communication strategy for this rights allocation process is resulting in confusion and panic amongst fishing communities, especially those in more rural districts. What the department has succeeded in doing is to create fertile grounds for the mushrooming of "experts" who are preying on confused and dazed right holders and communities.

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