Plea of South African anglers falls on deaf ears
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The head of the representative body of anglers across South Africa has expressed his disappointment at a lack of response from Government ministers to its plea to allow angling to resume during the COVID-19 crisis.
The South African Consolidated Recreation Anglers Association (SACRAA) wrote to six senior politicians, including the head of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, asking them to act now to save many businesses threatened with closure through the current ban on angling.
Its Chairman John Pledger told Angling International: “Unfortunately we have received no response whatsoever. We are very unhappy that nobody in the Government wants to know what recreational fishing is worth in GDP to the country and the problems the industry is facing.
“There are none so deaf as those who do not want to hear and none so blind as those who do not want to see. In South Africa we are blessed with both.
“The industry at both distribution and retail levels is not coping well at all during these restrictions. I foresee a lot of smaller stores having to shut down completely because of the forced closures. Both the retail and distribution trade will be in big trouble if the COVID-19 restrictions are not lifted.”
Pledger added that he is hoping that a relaxation of the current lockdown rules could be eased at the beginning of next month, allowing the resumption of non-contact sports, like fishing. However, he fears for some in the industry that the damage may have been done.