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DEFF Updates on COVID-19 Measures

April 7, 2020

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The environment, forestry and fisheries department has outlined provisions that allow commercial and small-scale/interim relief fishers in the Northern and Western Cape to take advantage of the snoek run in the Northern Cape.

In a statement, the department confirmed that fishers in the Northern and Western Cape may travel within the provinces to catch snoek in what is known as Zone A.

“At all times, fishing teams must adhere to prescribed hygiene provisions, such as sanitising of hands, sanitising the insides of vehicles and equipment. Restrictions on the number of passengers in vehicles must be observed at all times.”

However, fishers must concentrate on fishing in areas where they can move in and out within a single day as accommodation will not be available in fishing villages in accordance with existing regulations.

“Fishers must at all times carry their exemption notices and permits issued to small-scale and interim relief fishers with them. Fishers may not interact with local communities. They may only operate within the harbours which are closed to all other members of the public.”

The environment, forestry and fisheries minister, Barbara Creecy, announced that the Marion Island 2020 relief voyage will now depart in the last week of April 2020.

“As a result of the lockdown and as per announcement of the President, the voyage planning and arrangements have to be reconfigured to minimise risks.”

A reduced vessel crew and expedition complement will participate in the voyage.

Quarantine and testing of all voyage participants will also take place.

The plan is to return the existing expedition from Marion Island as soon as possible and put in place a team that will look after the base until full scientific activity on the island can resume.

The minister also announced that a proposal for relief for waste pickers will be submitted to the National Solidarity Fund.

The collection of recyclables was not included in the essential service list and, hence, waste pickers are unable to currently work.

“In the interim, to alleviate hunger, we have approached the Consumer Goods Council and its members who are in the process of discussing an intervention that will see the provision of food parcels to waste pickers as soon as possible.”