Frequently asked questions
Q: Are we opposed to conservation?
A: No, we are in favour of
conservation and parks.
Q: Will scuba diving permits promote conservation?
A: No. Effluent and sewerage is still
pumped into the sea INSIDE the MPA and fishing is still allowed in
most places inside MPA's.
Q: Why don’t we just pay R70 a year and be done with it?
A: Because you will be paying twice
every time you rent dive gear, do a diving course, participate in a
guided shore dive and/or a boat dive. The recreational diving
businesses will be paying a much higher price for a permit to
operate in the MPA and this price will be passed on to the
Q: MCM says that scuba divers damage the reefs and they have
research to prove it.
A: All their research is from
overseas. Their research describe places where the reefs are
exposed at low tide and people walk on it to collect
Q: Why don’t we just boycott the MPA – don’t buy permits and
don’t dive in the MPA?
A: Because businesses will have to
close and people will lose their jobs. Not just the owners but
every compressor operator, skipper, instructor, chef, shop
assistant, boat mechanic, gardener, driver, etc that’s directly and
indirectly dependent on scuba divers.
Q: What happens if I go diving without a permit?
A: You can get arrested and fined
between R1000 and R100 000. They may also confiscate your scuba
gear, boat and/or car.
Q: Why didn’t I know about this law?
A: Because it was announced in the
Government Gazette, which is not read by most citizens as it is not
available at your local newsagent.
Q: How often does the permit price increase and by how
A: MCM intend to increase it a lot
- They would not agree to inflation
linked increases for the first 10 years.
- The current fees are based on a
partial recovery of costs and the Minister has promised Parliament
a full recovery
- They have recently added the cost
of research to be carried by us to and they just ordered another
R100m research vessel
Q: Why don’t we take MCM to court about this?
A: Firstly because we don’t have the
money ( a high court application can cost about R500 000 ) and
secondly because they will just make more, new regulations with
fewer flaws which are harder to fight.
Q: Why haven’t we had a meeting with the Minister of
Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk about
A: We requested a meeting on three
occasions but he refused to meet with us.
Q: Has anyone had success with asking the Office of the Public
Protector (OPP) to investigate MCM?
A: Yes. Francois Hugo took MCM on
through the OPP and won the case after MCM arrested him for tending
to sick and injured seals in Hout Bay.
Q: Why are the interviews on the radio and articles in the
newspaper and Divestyle so emotive?
A: Because that’s what the media
wants. Boring law reviews don’t interest people. We don’t like
either it but that’s how it is.
Q: Is it true that MCM moved the boundary of the Aliwal MPA to
exclude the SAPPI SAICCOR effluent?
A: Yes, just compare the draft
legislation to what was promulgated to see for yourself.
Q: What makes SCUBA diving different from spear fishing and
A: We don’t take anything out of the
sea. We are non-consumptive users.