Fuel price hike will severely impact small scale fishers

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dave Bryant MP.

The DA calls on the Ministers of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries and Transport to urgently make provision for small scale fishers who stand to be devastated by the increasing cost of petrol.

There is growing concern regarding the impact of the rising cost of petrol on small scale fisher folk. Larger fishing companies make use of diesel for their boats and if they are VAT registered they are eligible for a diesel rebate. Smaller boat owners who make use of petrol have no such cover and stand to be severely impacted by the massive petrol price increases.

Last month the DA asked the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, to assist fisher folk with the rising cost of fuel. We received a one-line response simply saying that the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has no influence over the fuel price. This shows the complete lack of concern for small scale fishing concerns by the ANC government.

Ministers should be committing to raise these concerns with their cabinet colleagues as a matter of urgency. South Africa’s small scale and traditional fishing communities are already reeling from the bungling of the Western Cape small scale fishing process and the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP).

DA gets the theft and vandalism of public infrastructure on to the parliamentary agenda

Please find an attached soundbite by Mat Cuthbert MP

Last week, I wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to request that she grants an urgent debate on the economic impact of theft and vandalism of our public infrastructure.

Yesterday, she acceded to the debate in terms of Rule 130 on the grounds that it was of sufficient urgency to be debated within this term (see letter attached).

The DA looks forward to this opportunity to put forward the national, provincial and local interventions it has developed to address this crisis (see attached).

Government cannot stand by idly while R7 billion in direct infrastructure losses are incurred on an annual basis by entities such as Eskom, PRASA, Telkom and Transnet.

Even more concerning is the fact that the broader economy takes a hit of R187 billion as result of this crisis while our export economy, service delivery and public transport grind to a halt.

The DA’s message is clear – we must safeguard our infrastructure in order to protect our economy.

Post Office financial losses underscore the need for review of government ownership

Please find an attached soundbite by Solly Malatsi MP.

The dire financial state of the South African Post Office (SAPO) continues to inflict massive inconvenience to millions of citizens who rely on it to access their private mail, social grants and transfer parcels.

The latest annual report of the South African Post Office shows that it suffered a loss of R2.3 billion for the 2020/21 financial year, which marked an increase of R469 million compared to the previous financial year.

Its revenue for the same period declined by R1.2 billion symbolising the public’s increasing vote of no confidence in doing business with the Post Office.

While the Post Office’s massive footprint across the country, more so in poor areas, means it has a far broader reach than its private competitors, years of mismanagement and government under-investment, have relegated it to the brink of collapse.

Post Office branches across the country are closing at an alarming rate leaving millions of customers frustrated with no viable alternative in their communities to access postal, courier and social grant services.

The only way to save the Post Office from further collapse beyond recovery is to review government’s sole ownership of the entity by making provision for private investment to help revive this important institution.