The Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile, has announced the historic introduction of black Gauteng communities into the mainstream wildlife management industry.
This initiative creates an opportunity for these communities to start owning and managing wildlife and in turn enjoy the socio-economic benefits that derive from wildlife management. The wildlife is going to be lent to the Gauteng black communities and in return they will pay back the same number of wildlife received, interest free.
MEC Maile made the announcement while delivering the 2018/ 2019 Budget Vote Speech for the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at the Gauteng Legislature. He described South Africa’s wildlife industry as “untransformed and elitist”.
As part of this unprecedented transformation of the wildlife industry, 500 young people are going to be trained as game rangers and 200 of them as “youth outfit hunters” or professional hunters.
The sport hunting industry earns South Africa billions of rands annually, with hardly any blacks meaningfully involved in this lucrative business.
“We have already engaged with South African Parks and Wildlife, so they can partner with us on the loaning out of game and are looking to rolling out this project going forward,” said MEC Maile.
* About the writer: Emmanuel Koro is a Johannesburg-based international award-winning environmental journalist who has written extensively on environment and development issues in Africa.
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