Living Marine Resources Bill


25 February 1998
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


25 FEBRUARY 1998


The meeting began with presentations from the Department on tourism, followed up by a presentation from SATOUR. The department's Tourism Director stated that tourism in 1997 had risen approximately 20% from the previous year. The department was following a process of change: The first phase, (1996-97) dealt with policy formation and the transformation of the structure of the directorate. Phase Two (1999-99) will deal with the implementation of the broader policy objective, looking at funding, marketing, inclusively, etc. The final phase, the Grand Strategy, involves lifting the level of service and degree of tourism in South Africa. The director ended his presentation by acknowledging the need for increasing interaction with this committee, and asked the committee how this could be done.

The Chairperson responded by asking for a greater degree of information flow to the committee from the directorate so the committee could be aware of the directorate's activities. Other members of the committee mentioned the need to get black South Africans more involved both as tourist operators and tourists.

SATOUR representatives started their presentation by stating that while SATOUR was re-evaluating and restructuring its activities, the marketing projects that had already been planned and budgeted for would continue. Two of the key aspects of the restructuring were bringing the provinces on board and investigating the situation with regard to guides and grading of facilities. A key theme in all SATOUR operations was changing the image SATOUR was presenting to reflect and create opportunities for all South Africans. A discussion followed around SATOUR’s partnerships with business and an airport tax, in respect to the demise of the bed tax.

The meeting then turned to the Living Marine Resources Bill.

The Chairperson asked the Parties, now that they should have met in study groups and caucused, to briefly state suggestions on process. The African National Congress spokesperson, Ms. Van der Merwe, stated that the African National Congress study group had focused on the principles in the Bill. The Bill is extremely complex, and to change one thing would have repercussions later in the Bill. They believed that the Bill needs to be restructured. Therefore they propose that today’s meeting be used to identify key problem areas, and discuss these in the Committee. Then the department can redraw the Bill with these things in mind.

The National Party, from MR. Le Roux, agreed. He thought that it was crucial to get a general feeling from all the parties on the key issues, for the bill to be looked at again at and then later there could be clause by clause amendments. The National Party had a concern that the Bill did not follow the White Paper.

The Chairperson stated that this was a crucial bill, and should be done properly. There were other Bills that could be moved up in the committees programme while the Bill was being redrawn.

The Inkatha Freedom Party spokesperson, Mr. Mfayela, agreed with a general discussion and requesting amendments from the department. However, there was concern that there were demands from the stakeholders that need to be addressed.

Mr. September (African National Congress) expressed the desire for the Bill to be not endlessly prolonged. In particular the quota board needed to be legally disempowered through a new act.

The Chairperson stated that therefore the Bill would need to be looked at again by the department, and should be guided by the comments from the committee today.

Ms. Van der Merwe(African National Congress) started by saying that Section Two, the Objectives and Principles, needed to have two key additions: firstly that specific reference must be made to the restructuring of the industry towards previously disadvantaged fishers, and secondly that the issue of increasing the capacity of previously disadvantaged fishers must be included. In regard to the section, the minister must not only have "regard" for, but should be given a stronger obligation. The committee law advisor said that it can be changed, but would open the Minister to potential legal action.

Mr. Le Roux (National Party) moved on to Chapter two, and the establishment and functions of the forum. Firstly the forum should be established by the Minister being required to choose from a list of candidates who could be nominated by interested parties, academics, provinces, communities, etc. Secondly, the forum should be required to have at least one representative from each province involved in Marine fishing.

Ms. Van der Merwe agreed that some sort of public participation in the setting up of the forum should occur, but that the minister should also be able to approach people who are not nominated. This was agreed to by the Inkatha Freedom Party and National Party.

Ms. Viljoen (African National Congress) disagreed with the National Party on the issue of provincial representation. She argued that what was required in the forum should be people with South Africa’s interests in mind, not any particular constituency. She suggested rather that the Bill should state that in appointing people to the Forum, the minister should take cognisance of the geographical range of representatives. Ms Van der Merwe (African National Congress) agreed, adding that interest groups were a part of the Bill, and could impact in that way. Further, the constitution under the Co-operative Governmental clause (41, H) required the minister to involve the provinces, and it was therefore not required to make the provinces part of the forum.

Mr. Mfayela (Inkatha Freedom Party) thought that representatives of the fishing provinces being present in the forum would create healthy competition.

Ms. Chalmers (African National Congress) moved on to the functions of the Forum. She believed that the forum should have a monitoring of the restructuring function, and should be required to come up with an annual plan and report. Ms. Van der Merwe added that the Forum should be able to initiate consultation with the Minister, and not have to only wait until the minister asked for advice. The Inkatha Freedom Party and National Party agreed on this last point.

Mr. Mfayela (Inkatha Freedom Party) raised the issue that the bill excluded the National Parks, and yet not other Marine Parks of reserves.


Mr De Wet (National Party) queried the lack of definition of the word "qualified" in regard to appointing members to the Forum, suggesting "experience and expertise" should be added. Mr. September (African National Congress) said this may be a bit to prescriptive. Ms. Chalmers (African National Congress) followed on stating that this may limit the Ministers options.

Ms. Van der Merwe (African National Congress) suggested that the work "remuneration" should be removed from 7 (4), as it implied a full time post. The African National Congress and Inkatha Freedom Party agreed.

Mr. Le Roux (National Party), referring to clause 9, stated that a more clear indications should be made for the provision of non-paid (honorary) fishing control officers who volunteered their services. The Inkatha Freedom Party and African National Congress agreed.

Mr. Williams (National Party) expressed concern that the issue of how the fisheries will be controlled needs more clarity in the Bill, especially with regard to the provinces’ role. Mr. Mfayela (Inkatha Freedom Party) followed up by saying some clarity is needed in terms of present provincial employers, and the bill.

Mr. Williams (National Party) referring to clause 14, stated that the minister should consult the forum and scientific input when determining the Total allowable catch (TAC). The law advisor stated that this was not legislated as the TAC may be zero in some cases, and should not be forced to consult under these circumstances.

Mr. De Wet (National Party) suggested that in 14.2 the word "portions" should be replaced with percentage. The law advisor indicated that portions allowed for percentage allocation, but did not restrict to such in cases where percentage allocation was not preferable.

Ms. Van der Merwe moved on to section 23, dealing with Access rights. She stated that the African National Congress study group thought that the principle on access should deal with general principles, and separate principles for commercial rights. For general principles, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10 (b and f), should be used. Further the period for the right should not be up to 50 years, but 10.

The National Party thought a more appropriate length would be 25-30 years, as major capital investment would not occur if the time period of security was only 10 years. Further, the reduction of the right in terms of sub section 5, should not be more that 10%.

Ms. Van der Merwe stated that if the length of access right before reapplication was not more than 10 years, the need for reducing rights would fall away. She added that the right of access should therefore terminate when the date expired, or according to section 41.

Mr. September (African National Congress) stated that firms did need some security, but that firms need to have operated in terms of restructuring objectives.

Mr. Mfayela (Inkatha Freedom Party) agreed that 50 years was to long, but the Inkatha Freedom Party could not suggest a period at this time.

The meeting was required to adjourn. Further comments on the Bill would be heard from the parties on Friday the 27th March 1998.



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