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Pettersson: Fishing industry has transformed

Oceana Group on Thursday paid out around R290 million to more than 2,500 employee beneficiaries.

Fishermen protest outside the entrance to the Hout Bay Harbour on 29 January 2014. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The multi-million rand payout to workers in the fishing sector is proof of transformation in the industry, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Thursday.

She made the comments at the announcement of Oceana Group's empowerment trust payout to employee beneficiaries.

Oceana is South Africa's largest fishing company.

The trust will pay around R290 million to more than 2,500 beneficiaries from Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

Joemat-Pettersson urged other companies to do the same so that more individuals can benefit.

This comes as small-scale fishermen across the Western Cape continue protests against the allocation of permits and a lack of transformation in the sector.

Disgruntled Hout Bay fishermen are some of the many people who did not get fishing rights earlier this year.

Around 70 protesters blocked off the Hout Bay Harbour on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Joemat-Pettersson said, "We cannot give every community permits."

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