The Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) has submitted a request for clarity to the minister of environmental affairs, forestry and fisheries regarding the restrictions on provincial travel and accommodation for purposes of hunting. This follows after last nights announcement by president Cyril Ramaphosa, that the country would be moved back to level 4 lockdown restrictions.
“The hunting industry in South Africa is a major source of income for family farmers and thus rural communities in South Africa, these draconian regulations will destroy the livelihoods of thousands of citizens that depend on the industry to feed their families” said Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai.
Rossouw explained that South Africa is currently in the middle of the hunting season, an extremely economically important time for the communities that benefit from the hunting industry. Moreover, a period of even more significance considering the economic troubles South Africa faces due to the lockdown regulations imposed to attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Gauteng specifically, is not only home to numerous game and hunting farms which rely on this crucial time for income to sustain them financially throughout the year, but Gauteng is also home to many hunters who rely on the hunting season as subsistence hunters. Saai is firmly of the view that subsistence hunting is not and cannot be included in the definition of “leisure” as used in the level 4 regulations” said Rossouw.
He concluded that each day that the prevailing uncertainty continues many game farms in Gauteng as well as many subsistence hunters are unable to travel without the fear of being prosecuted.
Read Saai’s letter here.