WINDHOEK, 03 JUL – Amidst pressure to grant fishing rights and quotas to regions rather than individuals, the government is looking into the matter to determine how best the sought-after-rights can benefit the majority of the populace.
This was confirmed by Prime Minister (PM) Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in an interview with Nampa recently.
Her remarks come after calls from Swanu of Namibia and the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) for the fishing quotas to be given to regions instead of individuals.
In a separate interview with Nampa, Okakarara Constituency Councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu of Nudo said a broad-based approach to the fishing rights will benefit more Namibians.
“When you give fishing quotas to an individual, you enrich one person and his family. But when you give the same to a local authority or regional council, you uplift a community,” he stressed.
Quizzed on that possibility, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the matter was being discussed at Cabinet level.
However, the PM acknowledged that allocations of rights to harvest natural resources will always be made to individual companies.
“But we want also to be able to make allocations directly to public structures that can look after the interests of our community without necessarily going through the companies,” she told Nampa.
“That is what we are trying to do now. To look at what is the best way that we can make these allocations so that they can support development in the regions, while on the other hand also ensuring that we promote the sustainability of corporate entities that are currently operating in these sectors and are employing large numbers of people,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila briefly explained.
According to the Premier, Cabinet has already set up an ad hoc committee to this effect.
“That is the discussion at Cabinet which is being coordinated through an ad hoc committee which would generate some proposals that will be looked at by Cabinet,” she added, adding that a pronouncement will be made thereafter on the way forward.
“I think it is possible for us to take both approaches. Because first and foremost, the economy must grow, but we must also achieve equity,” she stressed.