Ross Purdon (MPL), Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism:
The DA welcomes the announcement yesterday by Environmental Affairs Minister, Edwa Molewa, setting aside a decision to grant environmental authorisation to the Department of Agriulture, Forestry and Fisheries for the proposed sea-based aquaculture zone in Algoa Bay.
The DA, business and residents in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro have vigorously opposed 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.
This decision is a major victory for all those who lodged appeals and the many thousands of people who signed the petition against the fish farm.
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 and therefore welcome the decision.
Minister Molewa has reverted the matter to the Deputy Director General: Legal, Authorisations, Compliance and Enforcement of the Department of Environmental affairs for reconsideration.
The onus is now on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to assess the alternate site (Algoa 5 near the Coega harbour) and to produce detailed feasibility studies.
The DA will continue to monitor this process closely.