DA fights only for white rights while ANC misfires across the board
Att: All Media
Statement by Gayton McKenzie, president of the Patriotic Alliance:
The ownership of line-fishing quotas since their last awarding in 2005 and before have been majority-white. Each of those quotas represent a business opportunity for the holder. It is thus clearly and primarily the rights of white line-fishermen that the DA has vowed to so staunchly defend over the last week. They do so with vigour and determination but cannot show the same enthusiasm when a black or coloured complainant begs them for help.
This is not a surprise, because the DA has long established itself as the watchdog of white monopoly capital interests. However, especially in the Western Cape, the DA has enjoyed the support of non-white voters, who hoped their faith in the DA would lead to change for them and their families. This has not happened and will not happen.
The rights of traditional communities, who have a long history and association with fishing, have been steadily eroded. As Chief Abré Hector of the recently established Traditional Khoisan Marine Hawkers Association, with whom the PA is consulting, has stated, the rights of the direct descendants of the “Khoi and Bushman peoples of Africa have been grossly infringed, from the days of colonial interests by men like Cecil John Rhodes and his peers in the British South Africa Company until today”.
These policies against our people have turned them into criminals who are forced to poach in their own waters. But they are the descendants of the people who laid eyes on those waters first in the predawn of history.
By resolutely looking the other way as non-white communities have been robbed of their rights, to allow big business almost total control of our national marine wealth, the DA has betrayed the trust of the Cape people who voted for them almost five years ago. Little has changed for these people – our people – in that time. The DA becomes volubly upset only when a small community of white fishermen are hard done by by the ruling party – whose motives must also be questioned.
The PA is totally opposed to any outcome that lowers job opportunities for people in fishing communities, especially those who work on the boats themselves and the hawkers and communities who rely on fish as part of their daily diet. It would be most unfortunate if Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s department, in an effort to promote transformation, actually makes life harder for historically disadvantaged communities. Her department has been dogged with scandal and reports of mismanagement. They no longer have the resources to protect and maintain our marine wealth, a lapse overseen by Joemat-Pettersson’s inept administration. This latest debacle must be viewed through the lens of the department’s past inadequacies. The task of fixing our fishing industry and the important economy around it is too much for them to deal with.
We as the Patriotic Alliance have made the reform, transformation and reinvigoration of the fishing industry one of our keystone policies. It is an issue that goes to the heart of many of the communities that support the party in coastal regions. We look forward to the day when the sea is returned to the people!
ISSUED BY THE PATRIOTIC ALLIANCE