Ross Purdon (MPL),
Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism:
Despite enormous public outcry it has become evident that the ANC led government is forging ahead with the controversial Algoa Bay fish farm. It also plans to extend the project in future. It has been revealed that this sea cage farming will be a yellow tail project .
The DA, business and residents in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro vigorously oppose this project due to its location off Port Elizabeth’s Hobie Beach and the risk it holds for the city’s R13-billion annual tourism income.
In a province where jobs and opportunities are scarce, we must protect our already fragile economy. As citizens we cannot simply be kept in the dark about matters that will have an impact on the economy of the city.
In a reply to an oral question I asked the MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Sakhumzi Somyo, confirmed that the Algoa Bay Aquaculture Development Zone (ADZ) is part of Operation Phakisa, launched by President Jacob Zuma in 2014.
ADZs identified in the Eastern Cape and which were to be completed by 2019 were:
- Kob farming expansion at the East London IDZ;
- Expansion of oyster farming and new kob farming project at Hamburg;
- Abalone and finfish farming project at Qholorha; and
- Yellow tail sea cage farming in Algoa Bay.
Future enhancement and expansion of ADZ projects were also identified at the Coega IDZ, Wild Coast, Hamburg and Algoa Bay and that their predicted environmental effects were “still to be finalised based on individual EIA applications”.
While the DA is acutely aware of the economic growth needed in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, we are steadfast in our stance that we cannot support this venture at the proposed site.
The DA will continue to monitor developments regarding this process. I have sent questions to the MEC for further clarity on the lack of public participation, the outcome of the EIA and details about the expansion of the project.