Fishermen protest over permits

ANGRY SIT-IN: Divers and fishermen, some previously from Eyethu fisheries, in the boardroom Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
ANGRY SIT-IN: Divers and fishermen, some previously from Eyethu fisheries, in the boardroom Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

Eastern Cape divers, fishermen and processors staged a sit-in at the offices of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in Richmond Hill yesterday, demanding fishing rights, among other things.

Their frustration stems from a meeting eight months ago with Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana and Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane where, they say, a commitment was made to small-scale fishing operators.

It was announced that they would actively tap into the oceans economy and take part in financially viable activities linked to the government’s massive Operation Phakisa.

That meeting was at the department’s offices in Stanley Street – the same boardroom occupied by the group yesterday.

On April 21, a decision to give offices in the province’s coastal towns powers to issue permits– presently only granted in Cape Town –was taken, but had not materialised, the group of about 60 small-scale fishing operators, said.

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