Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities, leader Helen Zille said in Cape Town on Thursday.
“The first step is to empower, and listen to the local community where the harbour is located. Each community should be consulted about the management and branding of its harbour,” she said in a speech prepared for a picket over related job losses in Hout Bay.
“This cannot be done by remote control from Pretoria - this must be done by the level of government which is closest to the people.”
Voting for the party would allow it to carry on its fight against national government to turn harbours into centres of job creation.
Zille said she had done everything to co-operate with national government and get them to fulfil their constitutional responsibilities in fishing communities.
“The Constitution gives the power to administrate our small harbours to both the national and local spheres of government.”
She alleged government had continuously “blocked” their efforts.
“There is no other option but to go the route of a formal inter-governmental dispute. That is a major step and involves certain statutory process which will end up in court proceedings.
“This is just another example of how the national government blocks service delivery for years, which then requires costly court procedures to resolve.”
The party commissioned a study in 2012 to examine how the industry could be turned around.
It found that a “one-size-fits-all” approach would not work and that each area needed its own plan.
“Hout Bay is not the same as Hermanus. One is famous for fresh snoek and thousands of seals. The other is a world famous whale watching destination. Government must not treat the two as the same thing.”