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East London's Orient Pier re-opened to local fishing fraternity

May 29, 2018
East London's Orient Pier re-opened to local fishing fraternity

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the Port of East London recently re-opened the Orient Pier to the fishing fraternity in a joint agreement with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, which administers Orient Beach.

This followed ongoing discussions with various stakeholders to try and ease some of the restrictions, without compromising safety and security of port users.

The re-opening of the Orient Pier will allow for safe and convenient fishing for fishing enthusiasts. It remains an isolated concession at this stage, although TNPA is evaluating a section of the Foreshore as an additional fishing site.

Fishermen also currently make use of the site adjacent to the West Bank side of the Buffalo Bridge.

Universally applied port security standards form the cornerstone of the implementation of the international maritime transport security system, and TNPA and the Port of East London are firm supporters of these measures to safeguard our passengers, customers and cargo.

All ports owned and managed by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) were compelled to implement strict access control to all port facilities in 2004 as a preventative safety measure.

This was in keeping with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which sets out international norms and standards for ports worldwide to safeguard public spaces and to protect transport and freight nodes following the 2001 terror attacks.

Unfortunately, making our port as secure as possible has meant that we cannot allow unlimited or unrestricted access to potentially sensitive areas in the port precinct. This has impacted on a number of port users, not least of which the fishing community, which previously enjoyed virtually unlimited access to port facilities.

TNPA has evaluated the security risks carefully, and we have determined that we cannot, at this stage, allow fishing at any other areas in the port without compromising overall port users and customer safety and security.

In particular the Western Breakwall poses a significant safety risk for the public due to the rough sea conditions that have been exacerbated by climate change.

We will, however, continue to consult with port stakeholders as we monitor and interrogate the various security measures being implemented in the port, with a view to making our facilities as accessible as is safely possible, in line with our vision of being a People’s Port.

In the meantime, we are delighted that fishing enthusiasts can once again enjoy casting their lines off the Orient Pier.

TNPA is responsible for regulating fishing in terms of the National Ports Act (12 of 2005) and the Port Regulations. Sub Rule 83 (2) of the National Ports Act provides that: A person may only swim, surf, fish or engage in water sports within port limits in areas designated for these purposes by the Authority or a person authorised by the Authority.

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