Free State Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs on Wildlife economy

The transformation of game industry in the Free State took a step closer to reality with the Wildlife Economy Transformation Programme workshop on the 03rd July 2018. This gives expression to the commitment made by the MEC during the Budget Vote earlier in the year.

The MEC said we have introduced policies and empowerment initiatives aimed at transforming the wildlife economy, promoting private public partnership for the management of resorts.

To this end, 45 black emerging game farmers were invited to a workshop which is prelude to the donation of game to qualifying game farmers and were informed about the game quota determination and allocation procedures and how to handle wildlife.

While a National Game Donation Policy Guideline is still being developed, Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs aims to fast-track the process in the Free State Province by streamlining and updating the existing game donation and loan scheme policy that has been in place since 2007. A system of quota determination for game donations for the Black Game Ranchers will form an integral part of the updated DESTEA Black Game Rancher Policy.

Some of the key critical issues that were discussed were:

Sustainability

Target driven: Revenue Generation and Transformation

Promote Growth of the Wildlife Economy

Animal Welfare

Consistency and Transparency

Enhancement of existing Conservation Initiatives

Compliance with Legislative Requirements

Different game species that will be donated ranges from springbok, eland, zebra, ostrich, buffalo, kudu, red hartebeest and blue wildebeest. Great care was taken to ensure that the number of game would not exceed the estimated carry capacity of every property, by involving the Departmental Wildlife Ecologist in the game allocation process.

A total of 33 applicants were screened to determine their suitability, as well as the suitability of the property owned by them, for inclusion in the BGR Game Donation Program. Of the 33 applicants that were screened, 28 qualified for the program. A total of six of the successful applicants are female black ranchers.

The next step will be the donation of these animals to the 28 applicants who have been selected.

Source: Government of South Africa