The Nyakaza cooperative permit conditions granted by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) in August is stripping fishing communities in KwaZulu-Natal of their income and livelihoods. The restrictive conditions of the permit prevent small-scale fishers from carrying out their livelihoods meaningfully.

In a meeting with the cooperative Task Team, on 14 November 2020, Masifundise explained the conditions of the permit in the local languages as the permit was written in English. Fishers were shocked to learn just how little the permit offered them.

Despite a cooperative entity being a business, the permit only allows for own consumption restricting fishers from selling and gaining an income from their harvest. The permit also prevents fishers from fishing from marine protected areas (MPAs), tidal lagoons and estuaries further limiting access to traditional fishing grounds.

“DEFF just came and dropped off these permits and nothing was explained to us we were not aware of all these conditions. DEFF has sold us out because these permits are useless”, said Bongani a fisher from Mazambane.

These permit conditions have created major confusion and anger amongst fishers.

Masifundise has committed to engage with DEFF on the these permit conditions in order to ensure that the rights of fishers are protected.



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