Finweek English Edition - - Economic Trends & Analysis - JO­HANN VAN ZYL

MORE AM­MU­NI­TION THE ECO­NOMIC im­pact of South Africa’s hunt­ing in­dus­try on ru­ral ar­eas is far greater than sug­gested by ear­lier, smaller sur­veys. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion for the first time in­volv­ing all SA’s ma­jor hunt­ing as­so­ci­a­tions, found that hunt­ing game to pro­duce bil­tong con­trib­uted about R4,4bn to the ru­ral econ­omy last year.

Ac­cord­ing to North-West Uni­ver­sity’s In­sti­tute for Tourism and Recre­ational Stud­ies, which con­ducted the sur­vey, this fig­ure was R1,3bn more than that pro­duced by the smaller 2005 sur­vey. Of that, the ma­jor share – R2,45bn – was for hunted game, the rest go­ing to ac­com­mo­da­tion (about R393m) and other gen­eral hunt­ing-re­lated ex­penses.

Lim­popo, which at­tracts 27% of the hunt­ing fra­ter­nity, re­mains SA’s most pop­u­lar hunt­ing prov­ince, fol­lowed by the North­ern Cape (15%), North-West (12%) and KwaZulu-Natal (12%). How­ever, that’s to be ex­pected, as the sur­vey showed 49% of hun­ters were from Gaut­eng and KwaZulu-Natal.

One of the re­port’s most im­por­tant rec­om­men­da­tions was that, due to the pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion by the in­dus­try, SA’s pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties should be­come more in­volved. For ex­am­ple, SMMEs could start man­u­fac­tur­ing some of the wide (and strange) range of cam­ou­flage cloth­ing and camp­ing equip­ment used by hun­ters.

In­dus­try mag­a­zine Game & Hunt manag­ing ed­i­tor Jan van der Walt says the re­port gives the hunt­ing in­dus­try es­sen­tial “am­mu­ni­tion” – for ex­am­ple, the fact that over­seas vis­i­tors bring in at least R411m of the in­come, which can be in­creased if SA’s na­tional and pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties were to take note of and give recog­ni­tion to that con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tional econ­omy and SA’s prov­inces.

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