WINDHOEK, 17 JUN – Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala said the 107 fishing rights up for grabs are not for every Namibian, hence the need to diversify businesses as not everyone will succeed in becoming a fishing right holder for the next 20 years.
Shanghala made these remarks on Saturday during the Swapo Party Africa-Child Day motivational talk event held in the capital, stressing that without hard work, there are no gains.
“If there is no sweat, there is no sweet,” said the minister, before taking on the topic of the sought-after fishing quotas.
“Now the new thing is fishing quotas, fishing rights… People, it’s not for everybody. If it were for everybody, then fine…” Shanghala stated vaguely.
He said there are other countless opportunities in Namibia, before questioning why everybody was suddenly after the rights.
When approached by Nampa shortly after his speech, Shanghala reiterated and clarified his views on fishing right applications.
“We shouldn’t just look at fishing quota and say if I didn’t get it then it’s the end of the world. Let’s be prepared to work hard,” he said.
The 41-year-old businessman and politician continued: “It’s not the end of the world. But once you deploy your mind and pull together as a group of people and try and find what solution can I bring in society, you will find something to do to uplift you.”
He said Namibians think fishing quotas are the solution to all their economic challenges, which is not the case.
“It may be a work before you get to the benefits of it. Let’s be realistic and appraise ourselves to challenges that may arise,” he advised.
The application for fishing rights has been a thorny issue, among politicians and the public alike.
A bone of contention is the PTY (Ltd) requirement, which according to many excludes poor and vulnerable Namibians from participating.
However, Shanghala believes the contrary, saying the PTY (Ltd) requirement is to protect the poor masses from exploitation, explaining that in the previous application format, prospective fishing right holders were required to have a Close Corporation (CC).
“We realised that there is a problem in the fishing industry that these CCs were used by bigger companies and individuals to swindle others. So, we thought, to get effective ownership, the one that helps us the most is the PTY,” he said.
Shanghala acknowledged that it is costly to establish a PTY, “which is rather unfortunate”.