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.