In the strange Covid "new normal" times, it seems as if anything goes . . . and a "new normal" is surely awaiting the Mossel Bay harbour area.
Just after we reported yesterday about the ongoing #fishrot investigation and court cases in Namibia in which South African businessmen linked to Afro Fishing in Mossel Bay are implicated, we received notice that the heavily contested fish meal plant got the green light from the authorities . . .
This comes after strong public objections and ongoing opposition since Afro Fishing's fish meal plans were first announced in an unobtrusive municipal notice 18 months ago . . . and two of its main brains were linked to fishy deals with the Namibian Fishcor in the #fishrot scandal and ongoing investigation.
A fishy business: https://web.facebook.com/mosselbayontheline/posts/2789220054642577?
Deon van Zyl, managing director of Afro Fishing, at the premises of the current sardine cannery where a R380 million pelagic fish meal and -oil processing plant may soon be added pending an urgent appeal.
The first Provisional Atmospheric Emission Licence (PAEL) is valid for six months and affected parties only have 20 days to appeal. Seeing that it is NOT so easy to access the appeal documents, we supply a link to both the appeal form and the appeal regulations:
"On behalf of the Applicant, you are hereby notified that the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEA&DP) has issued the Environmental Authorisation (EA) granting authorisation for the activity and the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has issued a Provisional Air Emissions License (PAEL).
"The DEA&DP signed and issued the decision on the 27th July 2020 and the GRDM signed and issued the PAEL on the 31st July 2020. A copy of the decisions, including the reasons for the decisions are included with this notification. They are also available on the Cape EAPrac website (www.cape-eaprac.co.za)."
An old aerial photo of Afro Fishing's sardine cannery at the Mossel Bay harbour
The first Provisional Atmospheric Emission Licence (PAEL) is valid for a period of six months from the date of commissioning of the Listed Activity. Commissioning means the commencement of a listed activity. That is when the boiler and RTO are coming into operation.
The commission date must be communicated to the Licencing Authority within 14 days from date that commissioning is known, in order to determine the starting of the six-month period (commencement date). If the Licence Holder is in full compliance of its first Provisional AEL, a second and final PAEL will be issued for a period of one year. The final PAEL is only applicable if the Licence Holder can prove full compliance with its 2nd PAEL, for a period of at least six (6) months, as contemplated in section 42(1) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 200
APPEAL PROCEDURE in terms of the National Appeal Regulations 2014 (EA)
Should any party wish to appeal this decision, an Appeal Submission must be submitted to the Minister’s office within 20 days of the date of notification of the Environmental Authorisation.
The appellant must submit a copy of the appeal to the holder of the decision, any registered I&AP, any Organ of State with interest in the matter and the decision-maker i.e. the Competent Authority that issued the decision.
The names and contact information of all registered Interested & Affected Parties (I&APs) have been included with this notification as per Condition 6.4.6 in the event that they are required for an appeal submission.
The holder of the decision, the decision-maker that issued the decision, the registered I&AP and the Organ of State must submit their responding statements, if any, to the appeal authority and the appellant within 20 (twenty) calendar days from the date of receipt of the appeal submission.
All appeal-related forms must be submitted for the attention of Mr Marius Venter by any of the following methods:
Private Bag X9186 8th Floor Utilitas Building
Cape Town Room 809
8000 1 Dorp Street
Tel: (021) 483 3721 Fax: (021) 483 4174
Should you require assistance or have any queries regarding the appeal process / procedures, please contact Mr Venter at the above contact details.
The prescribed Appeal Form is obtainable from the Minister’s office at telephone and e-mail details provided above or URL http://www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp.
Here is a copy of the Appeal Document:
Residents during the last public participation process meeting regarding Afro Fishing's heavily contested plans to add a R380 million pelagic fish meal and -oil processing plant to its existing sardine cannery.
This authorisation despite a public outcry and an ongoing court case is just more proof that the voice of citizens has very little impact in local, provincial and national decisions that impact them directly and adversely. . . .
- In another ongoing issue at the harbour, it was confirmed that a charge of corruption, alternatively fraud, has been laid at the Mossel Bay Police office on 28 July 2020 against the signatories of the lease agreement between the Transnet National Ports Authority and Mossel Bay Waterfront (Pty) Ltd for the former Mossel Bay Yacht Club premises as well as the walk-on moorings in the Mossel Bay Harbour.
More than a million rand is apparently involved in unpaid rental income and interest to the Transnet National Ports Authority, a State-owned entity, when the lessor already started earning income from the premises.
The charges were apparently laid by a private individual following the discovery in major discrepancies in the dates on which the agreement and some annexures had allegedly been signed as well as the dates from which Mossel Bay Waterfront had taken beneficial occupation of the premises (February 2019).
While the contract was allegedly signed in April 2019, The Transnet National Ports Authority issued another conflicting statement, published in the Mossel Bay Advertiser on 8 November 2019, that the agreement had not been signed yet at that stage.
Mossel Bay Waterfront started charging boat owners rental for the moorings from March 2019 onwards and opened its doors for business well before the alleged date of signing the contract. The agreement of surety, which is a legal requirement when lease agreements are entered into with State entities such as the TNPA and which the lessor had to be submitted with the lease application document in December 2016, was apparently only signed in the beginning of 2020.
Also, read our previous article on the ongoing battle of the boats at the previously proud Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club . . .