Raids by robbers put project to supply tasty fish in danger

NO BARRIER: Impopeng Fisheries' Mokgadi Moloto wants better fencing.Pic. Unknown.
NO BARRIER: Impopeng Fisheries' Mokgadi Moloto wants better fencing.Pic. Unknown.

THE fishing industry in Limpopo is under siege after a string of robberies at the Impopeng Fisheries Cooperatives.

Criminals are taking advantage of the low voltage electric fence that surrounds the project on the outskirts of Seshego township near Polokwane.

Seshego police station spokesperson Captain Mothemane Malefo confirmed that criminal cases of theft have been laid at the station but no arrest has ever been made.

The Ipopeng fishery has 16 clay ponds - each with the capacity to carry a shoal of more than 35000 fish.

Though fish consignments are sold at "reasonable" prices, the thieves prefer to run the risk of being electrocuted to get at the delicious aquatic food source.

Not only are the thieves stealing fish but also the electric fence itself.

Now project workers say they fear the robbers will end up stealing the boreholes that supply water to the dams and ponds.

The multiple award-winning project breeds catfish, tilapia and carp.

Mokgadi Moloto, one of the founding members of the project, says these criminal activities are derailing their objective to "produce quality fish for human consumption".

Moloto says the fisheries project was creating jobs in the region but the revenue is being depleted due to the thefts.

"When we started this project as a group of unemployed men and women, we were on the right track to create job opportunities and also to keep poverty at bay." Moloto says.

"But our dream of becoming one of the biggest breeding projects in the country is being shattered."

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