Minister Creecy outlines measures in the sector during the national lock-down period
24 March 2020
The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Barbara Creecy has announced a number of measures that will be put in place to assist the environment, forestry and fisheries sector during the national lockdown in Pretoria today, Tuesday 24 March 2020.
In an effort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020.
Speaking at a media briefing to unpack the President’s announcement, Minister Creecy indicated that the fisheries sector, the harbour, shipping and docking services to fishing vessels is exempt from provisions of the national lockdown. This is simply because the fisheries sector is crucial for domestic food security.
“The Department is aware that some existing fishing rights might be expiring. Starting from today we are granting a three months exemption for the renewal of all of those permits. This is to ensure that operators are not forced to come into our offices. This provision will be reviewed after a period of three months and only applies to those who have existing fishing rights,” said Minister Creecy.
Furthermore, support to municipalities with regards to waste management services as well as licencing and enforcement of all forms of disposal of dangerous and toxic waste substances will continue. We will also address how we will continue to support these municipalities during this season.
National parks, botanical gardens and the Pretoria Zoo are closed to visitors. However, there are international visitors who are currently in the parks and who fall in the category of visitors from high risk countries that were mentioned by the President in his speech last night.
“We are currently developing a list of all of those visitors. All of them have been placed in isolation areas in our parks and we will be in discussions with the Department of Health and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation once we have those lists of visitors to determine a way forward,” said Minister Creecy. We will continue with all our enforcement activities.
Other services that will continue include all of our enforcement services – poaching, air quality, oil spill, chemical spill and sewage spills.
The South African Weather Service will continue to provide weather forecasting service.
The DEFF will be in contact with the Department of Small Business Development and Department of Trade and Industry to solicit advice on how to assist small businesses in the biodiversity, fishing and waste economies. The assistance will be on relevant business support and rescue processes.
Micro enterprises that require support during this time should visit
- 0860 663 7876
- 0860 ONE STTOP
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