Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Where are the Fisheries Minister's "Listening Sessions"?

The Democratic Alliance wants to know where the Fisheries Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, is. We do know that she popped up to attend the recent news conference held by Oceana when South Africa's largest fishing company announced a massive dividend pay-out to its employee trust. But, the Minister told us back in February when she desperately tried to head off the urgent court application by the traditional line fishers that she would be starting a series of "listening sessions" with fishing communities.

As with all prior undertakings by Joemat-Pettersson, even these have failed to materialise. Now, she has seriously angered fishing communities by issuing dates and times for these meetings ... and then failing to pitch up!

And what is worse, the scheduled "listening sessions" sees the Minister attending two meetings a day at different venues at the same time! Talk about putting pressure on the infamous Ministerial Blue Light conveys (or mind-numbingly expensive chartered flights zooming from one poor fishing community to another)!

When we asked the Minister's spokesperson what was going on here and why her Minister was failing to pitch up at these meetings (for example, on 26 March the Minister was supposed to be "listening" to Lamberts Bay and Mossel Bay fishers at the same time), we were simply told that the timetable below is a "wrong document"! But it is document issued by the Fisheries Department and was circulated by DAFF staff.

  1. It is misleading to suggest dates for Ministerial Listening Campaign have been confirmed.
    Tweet text
    Image will appear as a link
  2. But I have a DAFF document stating these dates, times and venues.

The department issued an SMS text last week informing interest groups that the Minister would be attending a "listening session" in the Strand. Many fishermen decided to stay on terra firma and not go fishing so they could be heard. What happened? Yep, the Minister did not pitch. Dont expect the Minister to attend any of the 3 remaining "listening sessions".

No comments:

Post a Comment