South African Economy

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What trophy hunting means for the South African Economy

As discussed in the previous article, trophy hunting does not only help in conservation of our wildlife, but is also plays a huge role in the South African economy. Here is how:

The Basics

There are a lot of registered Hunting outfitters in South Africa. Each outfitter needs to employ staff to make his/her business work. Staff includes Professional hunters, Trackers, Drivers, Skinners, Lodge personnel (Cook, Cleaners, and Lodge Manager), office personnel (Admin Clerks, Operations Manager, Accountants) and Rangers, just to name a few. If each Outfitter only employs 10 people (which is not nearly the amount which are actually employed) already thousands of jobs are created. The Safari business gives jobs to thousands of people and feeds even more mouths!

Professor Melville Saayman from the North West University’s Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society (TREES) and two co-authors investigated the economic impact of hunting in South Africa’s Limpopo, Northern Cape and Free State provinces. The research found 17,806 (Limpopo), 9,072 (Northern Cape) and 4,558 (Free State) jobs may depend on hunting, in addition to those of people permanently employed on game farms. This is a total of 31 436 jobs in only three of South Africa’s provinces (There are 9).

Some Numbers

Hunting tourists spent a conservatively estimated R1.072 billion in South Africa in 2013, in 2012 it was R811 million, this is an increase of 32%, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

The DEA statistics show that 7 638 hunts by overseas hunters took place in 2013 (2012: 8 387), during which 44 028 trophies (2012: 40 866) were taken. Income from trophy fees (the fee a hunter pays a landowner to harvest an animal) amounted to R757.6 million (2012: R574.0 million) and income from daily rates (the fee a client pays a hunting outfitter to stay) came to R314.4 million (2012: R237.0 million) for a total of R1.072 billion.

These numbers do not include what hunters spend for alternative accommodation before and after the hunt, dining, transport, shopping, and additional sight-seeing activities. Research conducted by the North West University on the 2012 hunting season revealed that, when these additional expenses are factored in, the economic value of South Africa’s trophy hunting industry increased by more than 50% (from R811 million to R1.24 billion in that year).

According to the latest statistics provided by PHASA, South Africa currently has an estimated 20.5 million head of game (approximately 16 million on private land and the rest on state parks). Fifty years ago, a headcount of all the game in the country would have numbered around 500 000.

As you can see South Africa and its wildlife depends a lot on Trophy Hunting. Banning trophy hunting will not only mean job losses for thousands of people, but will also mean certain doom for all species in South Africa. We need to focus our time and energy on things like Rhino poaching, canned lion hunting, Lion Poaching, the Denmark Dolphin Slaughter and the dog festival in China just to name a few. We need to fight against things like that, and not trophy hunting! You might think people in Africa do not know what we are doing, but I can assure you that they have got everything under control. And this statement is backed up by statistics and hard evidence. Do not ever stop fighting for animal rights, because we need to stand up against the wrongdoers! Before judging a trophy hunter ever again, just remember it is them who contribute the biggest to South Africa’s conservation success story.