SA Navy may take over patrols
Cape Town - The SA Navy could take up the role of patrolling the country's coastline to protect marine resources, according to a report on Monday.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson had discussed this possibility with her defence counterpart Lindiwe Sisulu, according to the Cape Times.
With an agreement in principle, the matter was being taken further by agriculture director general Langa Zita and navy chief Vice Admiral Refiloe Johannes Mudimu.
Smit Amandla Marine would patrol the coastline until the end of the month, when its contract expired.
Joemat-Pettersson announced in November that Sekunjalo Investments Ltd had been awarded an R800m contract to man and maintain state-owned marine patrol vessels. The contract was subsequently withdrawn and being investigated by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
Agriculture department spokesperson Selby Bokaba told the newspaper that operations would continue from April 1.
"The only difference is that the vessels, which are owned by the department, will not be manned by Smit Amandla Marine. There will not be any vacuum."