The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be summoned to appear before a special parliamentary committee to be grilled about their apparent failure to address abalone poaching.
Beverley Schäfer, chairperson of the Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture made this decision yesterday after DAFF was once again a no-show at the second briefing which was attended by officials from the South African Revenue Service (SARS), SAPS and Citizens Against Abalone Poaching (CAAP).
“We can’t understand why they have been skirting the meetings for more than two weeks,” says Schäfer.
They believe SAPS and DAFF are failing fishing communities by only focusing on perly poaching kingpins “and not tackling the problem at the lowest level”.
“The poor and vulnerable are being hooked into poaching because their quotas were taken away and they can no longer earn an income as they have been doing for decades.
Schafer says: “We need to expose the negative socio-economic impact of poaching just as we do with drug addiction and alcohol abuse.
Schafer also announced that the committee will host a series of public hearings in fishing dorpies in the Overberg and along the West Coast.
“We hope that we can find solutions together with all the relevant stakeholders and solve this together,” says Schäfer.