Operation Phakisa nets successes

NORTHERN CAPE - During 2018 the importance of the oceans in growing the economy to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment was highlighted. To address these focus areas, Operation Phakisa - unlocking the potential of South Africa's oceans was executed in the coastal areas of Port Nolloth, Alexander Bay, Hondeklipbaai and Groenriver.

The operation commenced on Thursday, 12 December and concluded on Monday, 16 December 2019.

The focus areas of Operation Phakisa is to address illegal activities in relation to marine related offences and illicit sand mining. An integrated multi- disciplinary approach was followed and various external role-players participated in the operations.

The following internal and external role-players were involved namely, Port Nolloth SAPS, Upington Water wing, Upington Border Police, Kimberley Airwing, Provincial and Namaqua Cluster Crime Intelligence, Provincial Operational Coordination, Provincial Corporate Communication, Namaqua cluster Vehicle Crime investigation unit1 Department Environment and Nature Conservation ( DENC), SARS Customs, Department Home Affairs: Immigration, SANPARKS, Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.

The actions during the operations included stop and searches, crime prevention, compliance inspections, visits to the local harbour, launching pads and slipways, enforcement through compliance inspections of marine and coastal legislation, the inspection of fishing vessels and illicit sand mining.

Compliance inspections were conducted at various liquor outlets, businesses and mining areas as well as sea patrols along the coastline of Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay.

The following arrests, seizures and fines were issued during the duration of the operation.

* 5 x undocumented males

* 2 x J534 fines issued for Possession West Coast Rock Lobster

* 2 x Driving without license

* 3 x illegal hunting in a protected area

1 x Enquiry was opened into illegal mining in the Kleinsee area

1 x J534 fine issued for exceeding the daily limits for fishing

1 x J435 fine driving a vehicle in a coastal zone without a permit

2 x J 534 fines to the value of R10 000 for possession of undersized crayfish tails

It is also noted that during this period less crimes were reported as a result of the high visibility and intensified policing in the Port Nolloth and neighbouring areas especially during the festive season period where there is an influx of visitors and tourists to the coastal area. The police in the province will be turning the tide against crime this festive season squeezing the space for criminals.

Source: South African Police Service