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Uproar over perlemoen permit delays

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana.
Image: Parliament of South Africa

Greed appears to be the reason behind the delay in issuing permits to small-scale fishermen in the Eastern Cape to harvest 10 tons of perlemoen.

This is according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana.

He was commenting after dozens of divers, fishermen and processors protested in front of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries office in Richmond Hill.

“They want to have the permit for themselves and not operating as a cooperative. They cannot have it for themselves,” Zokwana said.
“The permit can only be issued if they run as a cooperative.

“If they agree to these terms, my officials will be there tomorrow to sign the document.”

Only 10 tons would form part of the permit.

But the protesters hit back, saying Zokwana’s department was being dishonest after making specific promises on January 19 last year.

Eastern Cape Divers and Fishers Forum deputy chairman Gilbert Kido said: “We have complied with every requirement but the department keeps on moving the goal posts and making empty promises.”

He said members of the forum would camp out at the offices until they received proper answers from the department.

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