After numerous delays, the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries will commence with the verification of fishers in Kwazulu Natal (KZN) from June 6.
With the other provinces already verified and others receiving their second round of verification, KZN has been left behind in the verification process, an issue that worried a number of fishers in this province.
The delays were supposedly due to the lack of a service provider in the province, and it was further exacerbated by the fishers refusing to work with a service provider who had any previous connection to KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife.
“Fishers said they do not want a service provider for the Small-Scale Fisheries Policy that is linked to Ezemvelo Wildlife,” The Hook previously reported.
In that report, Lindani Ngubane, Masifundise Development Trust fieldworker in KZN explained that the fishers said that the same staff members of Ezemvelo are the people who came to introduce themselves as the directors of Amagagasi, the new service provider which replaced Ezemvelo.
Even thou this issue has not yet been resolved, it seems that Amagagasi are still the SSFP service provider in KZN.
While the verification process will commence from the June 6, fishers from Mthwalume are still adamant that they do not want Amagagasi to verify them.
Mr Israel Mbhele, Chairperson of CLSA in KZN said that these individuals have taken a life in Mthwalume and therefore they have no grounds to enter the community.
“We at Mthwalume, prefer to be verified by the department as we are still pained by what KZN Ezemvelo Wild Life did in our community,” Mbhele said.
“We have lost a fisher and no justice has been served, so we cannot allow those who discriminate against us, to verify us.”
But Masifundise urged fishers in KZN to go and verify themselves, as they might miss out on the process and lose the opportunity to receive their fishing rights.
“We are aware of what has happened in Mthwalume, and as this is a special case, we are asking DAFF to go to this community and undertake the verification themselves,” said Masifundise’s Sithembiso Gwaza.
“With other communities, we are sensitive to your issues and agree that it is the rights of fishers to refuse an oppressor to enter their communities, yet, we are afraid that if KZN fishers miss this opportunity, they will have to wait three years for them to receive fishing rights,” Gwaza continued.
To this, the Director of Small-Scale Fishers in DAFF, Craig Smith say that the people employed by Amagagasoshintsho Development Projects were not employed as Ezemvelo officials.
“They people on this company were only sub-contracted by Ezemvelo to do the catch data monitoring in KZN and had nothing to do with compliance or law enforcement,” Smith said via e-mail correspondence.
“The communities that had catch data monitors can attest to this fact. I therefore make a final plea to Masifundise to inform members in KZN accordingly and hopefully we can put this matter to rest once and for all” further wrote Smith.
DAFF will commence with the verification process in KZN from June 6, in Thembeni, Northern KZN, which will become the first community to be verified in KZN.
Below, is the schedule for KZN verification dates and venues:Copy of New June KZN SCHEDULE with no teams_amended_accommodation1 (Autosaved)