The DA has added its voice to the host of Nelson Mandela Bay residents and businesses opposed to the controversial fish farm that is planned to be erected off Port Elizabeth’s coastline.
The party said the Algoa Bay fish farm would put at risk the Bay’s R13-billion a year income from tourism.
The DA’s spokesman for economic development, tourism and agriculture, councillor Chris Roberts, said the party was strongly opposed to the proposed site of the fish farm.
“The metro faces potential tourism-rand losses of around R13-billion, but the main role players – tourism and business – were kept in the dark and were uninformed as to the nature of the project.
“The . . . fragile metro economy cannot afford the potential loss of tourism, nor can it be subjected to a hugely intrusive development on our beachfront which has the potential to severely damage the ecology of Algoa Bay.
“We are supportive of the idea of aquaculture within the metro and . . . would support such an initiative at a more appropriate site.
“The Ngqura IDZ would be an ideal site and has already identified a suitable area within the development zone for such activities. There are also immediate benefits for this site in that land-based aquaculture is not only proven to be more cost effective, it also creates more jobs,” Roberts said.
The negatives of the project outweighedthe positives.
“The entire process of public participation must be redone to afford all affected and interested parties the opportunity to participate. The DA insists that the proposed fish farm project be open to scrutiny, and that the metro and residents be fully involved in all aspects.”
Last week, Bay Tourism boss Mandlakazi Skefile and Bay Business Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler said they were in the dark about the proposed fish farm.
-Rochelle de Kock