The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has given communities who have not submitted their catch and vessel information for IR 10 extra time to submit.

DAFF urges all the representatives that have not submitted any information or have submitted incomplete applications for IR 10 to do so immediately.

Communities who have not submitted any information or have submitted incomplete applications are requested to submit correct applications that meet all the requirements. “The department can only process correct applications that meet all the requirements. To avoid any further delay, please ensure that all the information submitted is correct”, according to a written correspondence by DAFF.

The new deadline date for this requests was not mentioned in the correspondence.

An e-mail correspondence sent to community representatives said that the department aims to issue IR10 permits and vessel licences early next week, for the areas that submitted their applications by the 20 original October deadline.

“The deadline given by the department for submitting applications took into account the amount of vessels that needs to be added to the permit and the verification of the application process,” the correspondence said.

IR has been a scourge to the Northern and Western Cape communities. Permits has been issues late and bona fide fishers had been removed from the list without any rectification from the department.

“The core issue in the Northern Cape is permits for the fishers, each year we are told we will receive permits on 15 October, but most of the times permits have been issued late,” said Walter Steenkamp, a CLSA member in the Northern Cape.

“It has been this way for the past nine years and we hope this time things will change,” Steenkamp continued.

Masifundise and CLSA hope that the issuing of permits will be just and a fair process and that irregularities and even corruption will be stamped out.

“We have engaging with DAFF representatives so that they could rectify past mistakes where bona fide fishers were just removed from a list, but we have heard silence,” commented Michelle Joshua of Masifundise.

CLSA members say that if this IR saga continues then something must be done.

“All the old members of Coastal Links should come together, and approach the DAFF as they have experience, expertise and a following that is loyal and we hope they will listen to us and implement the policy- we refuse a IR 11,” Steenkamp emphasised.

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