Department Response to Report of the Select Committee on Fishing

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ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

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This Report is a Contact Natural Resource Information Service
Taking Parliament to People, and People to Parliament

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The aim of this report is to summarise the main events at the meeting and identify the key role players. This report is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings.

LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
SELECT COMMITTEE
30 August 2001
DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON FISHING

Chairperson: Rev P Moatshe


Documents handed out:
A Response by the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism to Report of the Select Committee on Fishing.
(e-mail
info@pmg.org.za for document)

SUMMARY
The Select Committee discussed the Response from the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism to the Committee's Report on fishing. The points discussed were: internal conflicts within entities; allocations made to the wrong people; non-viable allocations; no reasons given for non-allocation of rights; requests and advise; labour relations; troublesome attitudes of some MCM officials; and future plans. The Committee decided to meet with the Department to clarify certain issues prior to the Committee meeting with the community to discuss their Report.

MINUTES

The Chairperson introduced the Response that the Committee had received from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT). The Committee considered DEAT's response to their Report in detail. Seven categories of issues were highlighted by DEAT and the Committee proceeded to consider each of these in turn.

1. Internal Conflict within Entities

The Department's view on this issue was that it could not intervene and people should proceed to the courts and /or the CCMA to settle these conflicts. The Select Committee was satisfied with that view.

2. Allocations made to Wrong People

In its Response, the Department admitted that in certain circumstances wrong allocations were made to incorrect people and that this was largely due to the fact that the Department had limited resources.

Ms A Versfeld (DP) stated that this was not the reason people were not getting the fishing permits. She indicated that the reason was rather the way the scoring process was done. She added that sometimes people attained high scores but were not granted the license to fish.

Mr M Mokoena (ANC) suggested that the Select Committee meet with the Department before they went to report back to the community so that the Department could verify the points that were complicated in the report.

Ms B Dlulane (ANC) suggested that the Committee should think of a strategic way to ask the Department to respond to people and supply a list of reasons as to why they were not granted licenses.

Ms A Versfeld (DP) also pointed out that the people who applied for the fishing licenses were paying too much money to be turned down without justification.

The Chairperson, together with the Committee in general, supported the idea of arranging the meeting with the Department to discuss the issue further.

3. Non-viable Allocations

The Select Committee was satisfied with this issue as set out in the Department's Response to their Report and did not discuss the matter further.

4. No Reasons Given for the Non-allocation of the Rights
The Committee was dissatisfied with this issue as set out in the Department's Response.

Ms Versfeld felt that this should be amongst the issues that the Committee discuss further with the Department. Ms Versfeld asked the Chairperson if he knew the date on which the "manual" would be issued. She stated that the reason for her query was that if the manual could be issued immediately, then people on the ground would know what was required of them when making applications. The Chairperson was unable to answer Ms Versfeld's question.

Mr Mokoena suggested that the Committee ask the Department to issue out the manual to the people so that people would know exactly what was required of them before they wasted money on applications that could potentially be turned down.

The Chairperson also supported the idea, and suggested that the Department should empower people. The Committee agreed to take the matter back to the Department to review the issue.

5. Requests and Advise
The Committee was satisfied with this issue as set out in the Department's Response to their Report and did not discuss the matter further.

6. Labour Relations
The Committee similarly agreed that the Department had adequately addressed this issue in their Response and they did not discuss the matter further.

7. Bad Attitude of Some MCM Officials

In its Response, the Department raised a concern about a certain sector of Departmental officials who were being uncooperative to certain fisherman with regard to their permit applications. The Department's Response indicated that it was looking into the matter and efforts were being made to correct the situation. The Committee was satisfied with the Departments efforts and did not discuss the issue further.

8. Future Plans
Ms Versfeld suggested that the Committee go back to the Department with issue 8.3 on in their Response dealing with medium and long term fishing rights. She thought that according to the government gazette medium term rights were of no more than four years and that clarification was needed in this regard.

Mr Mokoena supported Ms Versfeld's point and suggested that the Department clarify the matter.

The Chairperson concluded by stating that he would arrange a meeting with the Department to address the flagged issues prior to the Committee meeting with the community. The meeting was adjourned.

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