Weekly Press Review – 12 October 2012

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson has made an almost daily appearance in the press this week. She is being criticised from all sides regarding the running of her department and the DA is vying for her dismissal.

Annette Steyn, DA spokeswoman was quoted as saying that the performance of the minister’s department provided ‘ample ground’ for her dismissal. She also stated that the portfolio committee had been unable to meet with the minister in order to discuss their concerns. A rather regular occurance.

On Tuesday, the minister did finally make an appearance at the portfolio committee meeting on agriculture, forestry and fisheries, to present the department’s annual report.

In August it was reported by the City Press that a government document showed that the minister would contribute R800 million to the Nkanda ‘Zumaville’ development project.

Both the minister and her spokesman, Sipho Ntombela, vehemently denied the allocation of these funds, saying that it simply never happened.

Adding to the department’s woes is a report from the auditor-general stating that, amongst many other failings, for the year 2011/12, despite only achieving 49 percent of its targets, the department had managed to spend 99 percent ot its budget.

Surely enough is enough. There is so much irregularity and in-fighting and investigation going on within this department that maybe some new leadership would not be such a terrible idea. New leadership; armed with and extremely large broom.

Rather more significant news this week in the world of fisheries was the convergence of 57 maritime nations at the IMO’s Diplomatic Conference on the Safety of Fishing Vessels.

Hosted in Cape Town after some intense lobbying from SAMSA, there was some media presence at the event and the significance of the Cape Town Agreement was reported on, but perhaps more trumpet blowing could have lauded this milestone.

We will be covering the important agreement in the current issue and aim to blow the trumpet for the very profound contribution made by one of our countrymen!

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