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Archive for November, 2011

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The Feike BLOG has brought you many a breaking news story and analyses of issues affecting the South African fishing industry.

Between January 2011 and November 2011, we published 89 articles and opinions. Since our BLOG started in 2009, we have published 182 articles and opinions, some of which have resulted in headlines news in national and Cape-based newspapers and radio shows.
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DAFF is in Shambles!

Timeslive.co.za reports today (27 November 2011) that ANC member of the parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Salam Abram, stated that the department is in “shambles”. Timeslive reports as follows:

“Joematt-Pettersson, who has been in the spotlight over her hotel bills and travels, has also been criticised by an ANC MP serving on the agriculture, forestry and fisheries portfolio committee, who described the department as a “shambles”.

“It is common knowledge that the department is in shambles, it is very far from carrying out what it is supposed to do. It is not visible on the ground. They come with beautiful slides and put them on the screen, but when it comes to oversight, you see very little of what they do,” said Salam Abram.

[Selby] Bokaba (the Minister’s spokesperson) refused to comment on Abram’s claims.”

Questions that need answering

Our political environment is so polluted by corruption, maladministration and mind-numbing levels of incompetence that when we hear about a fishing company (and its holding company) being awarded an R800m tender to essentially manage South Africa’s entire fleet of fishery patrol and research vessels and then also exposed for paying for the personal security costs of a senior ANC minister’s home in the northern Limpopo province, questions just keep popping up.

Firstly, with respect to the fisheries research and patrol tenders. How is it possible for a fishing company to be responsible for the management and maintenance of patrol and research vessels. Its akin to insider trading; the fox looking after the henhouse; essentially, Premier fishing will know where and when patrol vessels are to be deployed and may even be able to influence deployment strategies whether directly or indirectly. To deny this, is to deny the earth is round or that man landed on the moon.
Regardless of how one looks at it, there is a reason why there is no comparable example of a fishing company being charged with managing a fleet of fisheries enforcement and research vessels.
Questions that need answering are:
1. Who were the other bidders?
2. What were scores of each of the bidding companies?
3. What were the evaluation criteria?
4. What were the financial proposals of each of the bidding companies?
5. Who constituted the tender evaluation committee? A copy of their actual recommendation report should be made public.
Secondly, Premier Fishing’s sponsorship of security costs for the Minister of International Relation’s private home in the northern Limpopo Province can at best be described as questionable. There is no doubt that when a commercial entity decides to sponsor an event or cause, it does so either because the event or cause is linked to its business strategy (and will result in exposure and therefore increased profits) or the cause is worthy of commercial investment. So what is the benefit for Premier to foot the personal security bill for an ANC Minister?

The Mail and Guardian reports the following very strange story about Premier Fishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sekunjalo who was just awarded an R800m contract by the Department of Fisheries. Why is Premier Fishing paying for the security of the Minister of International Relations?

International Relations Minister failed to declare a R100 000 benefit.
International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has not declared to Parliament a R100 000 payment for around-the-clock private security at her private residence in Polokwane.
Cape Town-based Premier Fishing picked up Nkoana-Mashabane’s R8 655-a-month security tab for 12 months in 2010-2011.
Premier Fishing is a subsidiary of JSE-listed Sekunjalo Investments.
Its executive chairperson, Iqbal Survé, has travelled overseas with the official business delegation accompanying President Jacob Zuma, Nkoana-Mashabane and other ministers on state visits and other government business. Survé is also a director of Premier Fishing.
The benefit is absent from the minister’s declaration of interests released by Parliament’s registrar of members’ interests last week.
Nkoana-Mashabane, through spokesperson Clayson Monyela, said that her brother, Harry Nkoana, was the “caretaker” of the property and that she was obliged to declare only benefits accruing to herself and her children. She referred all further questions to her brother.
For the full story, see http://amabhungane.co.za/article/2011-11-25-tycoon-pays-for-ministers-guards
Published to www.bday.co.za on 25 November 2011.
BLACK-empowered Sekunjalo Investments has won a five-year, R800m government contract it says will improve profitability and broad-based participation in SA’s maritime sector.
Sekunjalo led a consortium including ship-builder KND to maintain eight state-owned research and patrol vessels, including the Algoa, the Ellen Khuzwayo and the Sarah Baartman.
The contract, awarded by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, is expected to accelerate broad-based participation in Cape Town’s highly concentrated maritime industry.
Sekunjalo said yesterday the contract would significantly improve the group’s profitability and cash flow through subsidiary Sekunjalo Industrial.
Sekunjalo CEO Khalid Abdulla said the unit was one of the only black-owned companies in Africa with the technical and engineering expertise to manage a contract of this magnitude.
“Today, Sekunjalo not only manages technical maintenance of its own fleet, but conducts maintenance and provides technical services to vessels from around the world,” he said.
Sekunjalo chairman Iqbal Survé said the deal would accelerate enterprise development and skills transfer in SA’s maritime industry. “Our goal is to provide as many job opportunities through this deal as possible,” he said.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the contract was the first of its kind awarded to a black-owned company.
“I am confident that Sekunjalo Industrial Holdings has the requisite skills and capabilities to fulfil this contract based on its fleet management experience, and its experience in managing maintenance projects on international vessels,” she said.
The company last week came under fire from some of its shareholders after it announced it would sue two former executives for R65m for losses relating to major subsidiary Premier Fishing, which accounts for about half of group revenue.

Oceana Buys Lusitania

It has been confirmed that the Oceana Group Ltd has agreed to purchase all assets and interests held by the Lusitania Fishing group. The purchase will mean that Oceana will gain control over substantial additional hake, horse mackerel and South Coast rock lobster fishing interests.

The purchase would increase Oceana’s interest in the hake industry from 1.1% to 4.4%, in horse mackerel from 18.8% to 22.8%, in south coast lobster from 3.1% to 22.6% and increase the commercial cold storage capacity of the group by 4.1%.
The purchase is subject to obtaining regulatory approval from the Minister of Fisheries under section 21 of the Marine Living Resources Act and Competition Commission approval. Oceana anticipates that the transaction would be effective from 1 March 2012.
See www.oceana.co.za for more.

Black Tuesday

Today we face the prospect that the African National Congress completes its slide into the very deepest and darkest depths of corruption, sleaze and moral decay. And as it “celebrates” its centenary. The Party that spearheaded the Peoples Congress at Kliptown now chooses to flatly ignore the voices of hundreds and thousands, if not millions, as it appears completely desperate to pass the Protection of State Information Bill – the Secrecy Bill. How tragic that this great African movement has morphed into the National Party, seeing the same ghosts of “foreign spies” and varying shades of “gevaar” (fear) used so well by the Apartheid regime to scare its sheepish followers into towing the party line.

Despite the ANC’s protestations to the contrary, the Bill’s sole aim – like the collapsing of the Scorpions – is to shield the party and its officials from their uncontrollable lust to plunder the public coffer and undermine the rule of law.
And make no mistake, it will affect each and everyone of us in a significant way. In the fisheries sector, we have already seen the programming of civil servants into secrecy and deception mode. Essentially, the Bill will allow almost any official any DAFF to decide whether a document of process is classified.

Want to Know More About SA Fisheries?

Feike has invested in the development of a dedicated blog on South African fisheries where we will provide regular but brief news updates on issues affecting the commercial fisheries sector. The blog also provides important socio-economic facts and figures on some of our major commercial and small-scale (artisinal) fishery sectors.
go to safisheries.wordpress.com

Permit Threats by DAFF Unlawful

Feike has been provided with copies of correspondence issued by the Fisheries Department threatening small-scale commercial right holders in the lobster and abalone sectors with the “termination” of their permits if these right holders do not make levy payments by 15 December 2011.

Feike wishes to confirm that this threat is unlawful and amounts to extortion.
It is most alarming that the department continues to unlawfully threaten right holders with withholding (and now “termination”) of their permits and/or section 28 Notices for failing to make levy payments despite the fact that the department continues to not issue proper and valid tax invoices to right holders.
Earlier this year, the Minister confirmed to Parliament (Question 159 of 2011) that her department has never collected any levy without a tax invoice. She was of course not telling the truth. Her department has for some time been too inefficient to issue tax invoices and instead extorts levy payment from right holders by threatening to withhold their fishing permits and now the threat is to “terminate” the poor, helpless permit.
Further, that the Marine Living Resources Act of 1998 does not make any provision for the “termination” or “withholding” of permits is of course not relevant to our fisheries civil servants.
Accordingly, (bold text) –

1. The department cannot lawfully “terminate”, murder, destroy or torture any permit; and

2. If the department wants you to pay your levy, they must do what the law says they must do. They must open up Excel and compile a tax invoice which must state the following –
* the name of the right holder, together with the right holder’s address and VAT number (if VAT registered);
* the precise reasons for raising the invoice (such as for the 2010/2011 abalone levy)
* the exact amount owed and how this amount is calculated (for example: 400kg x R31)
*the date by which payment must be made and the bank details into which the payment must be made.

Launch of the Anti-Poaching Chase Vessels in Pics

The pictures provided below are courtesy of Mr Scott Russell, a commercial abalone diver and spokesperson for the South African Abalone Industry Association.

Attendees at the Launch

The Minister addresses the gathering at the launch

The newly trained military veterans on parade

The “Leervis” Chase Vessel
The “Galjoen” Chase Vessel
The “Galjoen”
300HP Engines on each of the Chase Vessels
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