Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana says the announcement of a R100 million
development fund, sponsored by private sector companies, is set to help small fisheries players who
have challenges with access to funding.
The Minister briefed media in Cape Town on Thursday after tabling the department’s Budget Vote
speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
“Our understanding is that they are going to make sure that when these small -scale fishermen and
women receive their fishing rights – as we are going to launch the small-scale fisheries policies –
sometimes they are not able to exercise their rights to go and fish because of access to funding.
“The aim then is to make it easier… We want to make sure that more funding is availed by the private
sector and we believe that it is a very good gesture that they have done to make sure that fishing
communities can participate,” he said.
Delivering the Budget Vote in Parliament on Wednesday, Zokwana said the fund would ensure that
government empowers small businesses entering the fishing industry in order to truly revitalise the
Oceans Economy. “Government has invested considerably in agriculture to create a favourable and
supportive environment for the farming community, particularly subsistence and smallholder producers.
“The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) — with the assistance of the Department
of Trade and Industry (dti), Land Bank, National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and Industrial Development
Corporation (IDC) — developed a programme to commercialise black producers in the agriculture,
forestry and fisheries sectors”, he said.
Zokwana said the Land Bank has been identified as the grant fund administrator and will, together with
commercial banks, provide the loan portion of the funds required to commercialise these producers.