'It's all about Money!' Implementation of South Africa's New Fisheries Policy

"Since the 1994 'negotiated revolution', South Africa's fishing industry has been under pressure to 'become transformed', just like most other industries and administrative institutions. The broad goals of the new dispensation were gradually spelt out. The following is an account of the transformation process so far, based on information from central as well as local sources. Basically, we are interested in showing how the results of the transformation process have deviated from the ideals of the MLRA, and explain why this happened in spite of goodwill and political backing from the government. Political and economic transformation is seldom easy, and South Africa is no exception, in spite of the numerous claims of a 'miracle transformation'. What is special about the fishing industry is that the present transformation takes place largely as a zero-sum game. The South African process is special in that there are no models or blueprints for how to turn a fully developed, capitalised and largely monopolised industry into a more diversified structure, containing a large number of entrants hardly familiar with running business entities in the first place. As we are going to show, there are definite limits to redistribution, and the bottom line is that there is no way that all previously disadvantaged fishers could possibly receive a fishing right or quota."