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South Africa's small-scale fishing draft ‘bucks vision’ by Donwald Pressly May 03,2012   |  Source: IOL

The South Africa Cabinet is expected to give the green light to a draft small-scale fishing policy that has been the subject of debate for three years, but opponents believe it contradicts the long-term National Development Plan (NDP) forged by Planning Minister Trevor Manuel and the National Planning Commission.

The draft seeks to introduce a community-based approach to rights allocation, instead of the individual approach of the past. The idea is to create legal entities or co-operatives that would manage the system of small-scale fishing.

While the NDP identifies fisheries as a strategic economic sector with growth potential, especially in the area of small enterprise development, the draft policy places the emphasis on extending the net for small-scale fishers. The draft, which was put to the portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries 18 months ago, wishes to include child-headed households and women in particular.

The NDP notes that 27 000 people are employed by well-regulated commercial fishing concerns and that the industry is already transformed and black empowered.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson was scheduled to deliver her budget vote this afternoon, but the cabinet was expected to give the policy the


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