Wildlife ranching endeavours to make a difference for ‘have-nots’
LAND reform has been a contentious and divisive topic ever since the birth of democracy in 1994. While it has been cynically used by populists no-one can deny that it is the “elephant in the room”, an injustice of the past that needs to be conclusively but fairly remedied if we are to ensure that our miraculous democracy is to survive.
If the masses of poor “have nots” continue to grow and burgeon, they will become a tool for unscrupulous and cynical populist politicians, as their hope fades.
The only way to avoid such a situation, where the poor are incited to rise up and revolt, is to make sure that South Africa prospers economically and sustainable, rapid growth is shared and inclusive, ensuring that the numbers of the poor, hungry, hopeless and disgruntled decline.
There needs to be restored confidence in our country and its economy to attract investment. This will contribute to achieving racial equality and ultimately our vision of peace and harmony.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of co-ordinated and cohesive planning and systems to make this happen, whether from the government or from the private sector, to ensure what we seek: food security, financial security and comfort to all.
Of course, the government can uplift its constituency, but that is not enough, especially when some politicians and bureaucrats are unmotivated, unskilled, and in some cases corrupt. The only people who clearly have something to lose under those circumstances are us, the “haves”.
In reality, however, as the country’s capacity to deliver declines as a result, even the “have nots” will lose. They will lose what little they have and, most importantly, they will lose hope.
Given the limited ability of the government to make a positive impact, the “haves” are the only ones with the resources to make a difference, be it in terms of finances, assets, education, business and other skills, and the will to contribute.
It is for our own sakes that we must make a positive difference to the lives of the poor and hopeless masses.
If you need any convincing that the government is struggling to make the necessary improvements and that we are not making enough of a difference ourselves, then look again at the unemployment figures; look at the daily and countrywide service-delivery protests; and look at the crime statistics.
Look again at the predicted demographics over the next few decades (from Clem Sunter) and the shocking numbers of our compatriots who go to bed hungry or go to school on an empty stomach.
What is written above paints a dark and gloomy picture, one that would make some pack their bags for Perth.
There are many who are trying to make a difference and many, truly many, game ranchers who want to make a difference and have indicated their willingness to enter into discussions with the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs.
We are also fortunate that the efforts of our Wildlife Ranching South Africa transformation team (vice president Tebogo Mogashoa, director Karel Landman and consultant Cobus du Toit) and the willingness of our members have been recognised by minister Nkwinti and his special advisers. Our efforts over the past three years have changed the government’s view of our industry.
Instead of being considered a rich white man’s plaything, our industry’s contribution to the economy, decent jobs and food security has been noticed. The potential for our unique form of agriculture to make a contribution and a difference has been recognised. Wildlife Ranching South Africa president