'Children are paid for poaching, and they are paid in the currency of drugs'

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has received a report from the Western cape Ombudsman JJ Brand looking into the poaching of abalone and including the complaint of poor response from police in this regard.

The report looked into the issues that are being experienced in the Gansbaai, Kleinmond, Hermanus and Stanford areas

MEC Fritz speaks to Kieno Kammies about the report which highlights the poor response of authorities.

The report completely substantiates our complaint that there is a huge inefficiency in the way the police operate, but also that there is a lack of resources in terms of policing, boots on the ground and vehicles.

Albert Fritz, Community Safety MEC - Western Cape Government

The report on the Overberg area is a microcosm of the bigger problem in the province at large, he adds.

He says despite poaching playing an enormous role in that area, it is still only classified as a category B crime, despite it being part of serious organised crime in South Africa.

In that area, children are paid for poaching, and they are paid in the currency of drugs.

Albert Fritz, Community Safety MEC - Western Cape Government

He acknowledges the decline in fishing quotas has led local fishermen to resort to poaching, crime and drugs.

Many gangsters have left Cape Town and are living in the Overberg area, says Fritz.

He suggests an environmental court for the area to deal with the abalone cases and also change the poaching to a category A crime.

Listen to the interview below:


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