Government not clear on transformation it seeks in fishing industry - SADSTIA

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has emerged victorious following a recent ruling by the Cape High Court which squashes an interdict preventing it from awarding permits to existing and new rights holders for inshore trawl fishery for hake and sole.

Earlier this year, Viking Inshore Fishing Holdings obtained an interdict to bar 27 fishing companies, including itself, from starting to catch their 2017 quotas. Viking argued that its fishing quotas were cut by 60% despite its empowerment credentials.

Secretary of the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA), Dr Johann Augustyn says it is the constitutional imperative to transform all economic sectors in South Africa.

Transformation in fishery is just as important as any other sector.

Dr Johann Augustyn, Secretary of the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA)

However, one does need to have a conversation about what the government means about transformation

Dr Johann Augustyn, Secretary of the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA)

In our sector, deep sea trawling industry, we consider ourselves well transformed as we have 62% black ownership says Augustyn.

He explains that the government is intent on introducing large numbers of small new players as an alternative way of promoting transformation.

He adds that these actions will have economic implications. According to Augustyn they have been struggling to hold these talks with government.

The larger companies are far more capable of adding value to products, getting large contracts in overseas markets. They are also now very well transformed.

Dr Johann Augustyn, Secretary of the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA)

There's a feeling you don't want to mess with such success stories says Augustyn.

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