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South Africa Hunting Update

by Randy Gibbs

Mar 08, 2018

Following a recent vote in the South Africa Parliament involving expropriation of land, SCI members have asked how this might affect current or future plans for safaris.
SCI advises members who have arranged for safaris in South Africa to keep in close contact with their outfitters, who are in the best position to advise.
Regardless of the final outcome, this process requires a series of official steps and is likely to take time.  SCI will keep everyone advised as the matter develops.

The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa statement:

“Concerns have been raised by our members and the broader international hunting community regarding the issue of ‘land expropriation without compensation’ in South Africa. The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) wishes to clarify this issue. PHASA would like to assure the public that although talks of ‘expropriation without compensation’ is a concern, there are numerous constitutional procedures and implementation requirements that first need to be addressed prior to this policy coming to fruition.

“South Africa has one of the best constitutions in the world and the bill that was passed in parliament, will first have to be investigated and go through a constitutional review committee process. The committee will have to hold public hearings, where South Africans can give suggestions and inputs. Once completed the committee will report back to the National Assembly where their findings will then, once more be voted for in parliament. A two-thirds majority vote is required for the committee’s recommendations to be accepted.

“The President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, has urged people not to panic and outlined the critical importance for South Africans to engage to come up with meaningful proposals and recommendations concerning the land issue. It is paramount for the broader community to realise that specific constraint were put in place that this process may not undermine the:

  1. Economy,
  2. Agricultural production and
  3. Food security.

“PHASA will heed the President’s request and be involved in finding amicable solutions for the wildlife and hunting industries by highlighting the invaluable contribution hunting makes to the green economy. Members of the PHASA Executive Committee were in Parliament on the same day as the land decision was made. PHASA was involved in finding ways of unlocking the socio-economic potential of South Africa’s biodiversity assets through sustainable use of wildlife resources.

“According to the President of South Africa, land expropriation would not be a ‘smash and grab’ attempt, and much consultation would take place to ensure the process would not harm food production, jobs and the economy as a whole.

“South Africa remains one of the best destinations of choice for international tourists and as an Association we would like to assure the general public that South Africa remains a safe and preferred destination for hunters.

“For any further information, individuals or Associations are welcome to contact the president, our PHASA office or any member of EXCO.

Dries van Coller, PHASA president, president@phasa.co.za or Marianna Louwrens at info@phasa.co.za and Tersia Du Plooy at phasa@phasa.co.za.”           

The Custodians of Professional Hunting & Conservation – South Africa statement:

“Since the African National Congress held its National Executive Committee meeting in December and a new leader was elected in Cyril Ramaphosa, there is to a very large degree a sense of hope germinating in South Africa, that we can reverse the ills of the past 8 years and move forward with the building of our great country,” the group reported.

“Land is the subject that has caused the most debate, anger, frustration, fear, uncertainty, hope and a litany of other emotions in South Africa. Land will remain a political issue for years to come.

“President Ramaphosa has announced that he will support and follow on with ‘and expropriation without compensation.’ This does not mean it is now law, nor does it necessarily mean it will become law! Nor does it specify white owned farms. The motion is for all property, including urban properties….

“It also needs to be taken into account that there is much unused land in the states’ hands. Some of this land is likely to be distributed. Municipalities, too, hold much land that can be used for housing and large tracts of non-utilized state land are held in trusts by ‘chiefs.’ These are simple examples of land that can be taken and responsibly distributed for proper use. It is unlikely that productive commercial land will be targeted.

“Let us continue to work towards creating a unified and constructive approach to an issue that must be addressed, in a manner that is positive and not sow the seeds of distrust and fear through assumption, for that will be far more damaging to our industry, the wildlife and all people of South Africa.”