Barbara Creecy. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
Barbara Creecy. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

The government has granted a three-month exemption for owners of fishing rights whose permits are up for renewal so as to prevent them from having to come into contact with officials.

This was announced on Tuesday by environment, forestry and fisheries minister Barbara Creecy during a media briefing by the economic cluster of ministers.

The briefing was to expand on what is being done by the government in the various sectors of the economy following the announcement on Monday by President Cyril Ramaphosa that SA will go into a three-week lockdown from midnight on Thursday.

The minister said the exemption will be reviewed at the end of the three-week period.

Being part of the food value chain, fishing is exempt from the provisions of the lockdown, as are all harbour, slipping and docking services that pertain to fishing vessels.

The forestry sector is also exempt, including sawmills, clearing of state and commercial forests; fire services; nursery services for saplings; and, if necessary, activities related to the spring planting season.

Also to continue are the department’s support services to municipalities with regard to waste management, as well as the licensing and enforcement of all forms of the disposal of dangerous and toxic waste substances.

The 19 national parks, botanical gardens and the Tshwane zoo, which fall under the department’s control, will be closed to visitors but ranger services and wildlife management will continue in the national parks, and animals in the Tshwane zoo will continue to be cared for.

International visitors from high-risk countries at the national parks have been placed in isolation.

Creecy said that other departmental services that will continue are enforcement activities relating to poaching; air quality; and spills of oil, chemicals and sewage. Weather services, including weather forecasting, will also continue to operate.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za