Marine Living Resources Bill: comment by stakeholders


18 March 1998
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Meeting report

18 March 1998: PART TWO


The chair explained that the reason this meeting had been called was to give the stakeholders in the fishing industry that had made comments on the Bill during the process a chance to be presented the final draft bill. Comments from the stakeholders would then be noted. The issues were not however open to discussion.

Mr. Oosthuisen, from the South African Pelagic Fishing Industry Association, and the East and West Coast Lobster association welcomed the opportunity to comment, and had two concerns, The first concern was that decisions taken by the Minister should have been required to be in consultation and with representative bodies, especially on issues such as the Total Allowable Catch. Further, the bill does not explicitly require the Minister to include scientific representation on the Consultative Advisory Forum.

An unidentified stakeholder asked for clarity from the chair on how to make comments, as he had just received the Bill.

An African National Congress member suggested that the stakeholders should have followed the debate in Parliament.

Mr. Le Roux (National Party) suggested it would be fair to give the stakeholders ten minutes to look at the Bill.

Ms. Viljoen stated that many of the stakeholders present had been present on Thursday when the Bill was voted on, and asked if the stakeholders would like ten minutes.

Stakeholders requested the ten minutes.

Chair agreed. She reiterated that the current process was not parliamentary process, but that the chair believed it had been necessary to allow stakeholders to comment on the Bill that was to be voted on in the House on Monday. It was an extra privilege and a courtesy from the committee.

There was a fifteen minute recess.

Mr. Johnson thanked the committee for the opportunity. He thanked the chair for the long and transparent process, apologised for any abuse the committee had received during the process, and recognised the open democracy that had been demonstrated in the Bill. On behalf of the world organisation he represented, he stated that the Bill was not strong enough on conservation, as it did not address issues such as shell collection, which was a problem in many areas. Further the Bill had no redress for deprived rights, and the concerns of artisanal and indigenous fishers. The Bill rested on section 27, subsection two, where the criteria for access allocation would be crucial. A further concern was that the Bill did not address community based co-management of the resource.

Mr. Mentoor from SAFAC thanked the committee for many years of hard work on the Bill. He appreciated that the process had been transparent, and was proud to be part of a process that had occurred in the manner this one had. He believed people had been waiting for a Bill, and a process, like this one. He thanked the committee.

A representative from FAWU, SAFAC and the African National Congress Fishing Desk recognised that as part of a democratic process there will be some things missing in the Bill that were asked for. However, he stated that the Bill was very constructive, and balanced the needs of all South Africans, and allowed for meaningful reconstruction. He thanked the committee for the way it had exercised its decision making process in a way to support all South Africa.

Mr. Penzorn, Deep Sea Trawling Association, thanked the committee for its energy and time in dealing with the Bill. He stated that the Association had been part of the process from the beginning. In moving forward, an important issue would be the stability of the industry, which was no longer mentioned in the Bill. He thought it would not be amiss to have this principle in the Bill.

The African National Congress whip commended the chair, the department and the committee on their activities.

The Small Hake Quota Association thanked the chair and committee for a job well done, and one that was transparent.

Mr. Le Roux from the National Party made a few suggestions on grammar mistakes in the Bill. He added that he thought the Advisory Forum should report to Parliament on its activities. He further noted that the Bill did not have clarity on the accounting officer in the council. He requested the chair to consider how these issues would be dealt with.

Mr. Smith (Inkatha Freedom Party) noted that the Bill was routed to the National Council of Provinces, and details could be amended there. Further, stakeholders had an opportunity to make further input there.

The Chair expressed her extreme pleasure that the Committee’s role in the Bill was finally over. She thanked the committee for their work, energy and time, and the stakeholders for their participation. The meeting was adjourned.




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