Please support Professional Hunters and their staff in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today I am coming to you to ask for your support, all of us realize with the current Covid-19 crisis there is a need all over the world. We also see the overwhelming support and community projects that support so many people around the world from different walks of life and industries and we are grateful that there are still people out there who can help and support where there is a need.
Unfortunately, due to years long campaigning and pressure on governments and companies around the world but especially in Africa by the opposition groups to sustainable use of wildlife, there is a group of people in the world that are forgotten, a group who have not been accounted for and who are just as affected by this pandemic, if not more.
These are the individuals at the front lines of conservation, the guys at the front line of anti-poaching, the people at the core of the protection of our wildlife heritage. The people who makes a living in nature, work with nature every day, boots on the ground and has a passion for nature while sustainably utilizing it.
These people are the Professional Hunters the Hunting guides in Africa and their direct staff, our project specifically focus on South Africa based individuals with a hope to reach outside the borders of South Africa if resources allow.
One of the most affected sectors of the world economy and specifically the South African economy is the tourism industry, even before lock-downs this industry has been crippled by travel bans and fear by tourists for this pandemic.
This affects Professional Hunters, Trackers, Skinner's, Chefs, Cooks, administrative staff, lodge staff and many others, based on an average calculation of 377 hunting companies who provided data and are members of the PHASA (Professional Hunting Association of South Africa), the average amount of people impacted in this survey, in the member base is 7000 + individuals (Bread Winners) or families directly employed by this sector currently at a complete standstill and in crisis.
These 7000+ families does not account for members of other organizations and unaffiliated members also active in the industry, this number most likely represents one third of the real impact.
In South Africa and other parts of Southern African countries the response from governments was hard lock-downs, we are not talking voluntary lock-downs as many places in the world are experiencing them, South African government has implemented a lock-down which can almost be compared to a state of martial law, a full restriction on movement and restricted to your home and are allowed only essential services which basically only includes food and medical services.
This reaction has resulted in a desperate situation where only people employed in the essential services sector are working and the tourism sector has been in full shutdown with no business or activity even in the local market, lodges are not allowed to accommodate guests looking for a break from the restrictions and risk huge fines and prison time should they attempt any activity currently banned.
The indirect impact of this approach by governments is that Professional Hunters, Hunting guides and their dependent staff is not only that they lost their main income but also are not afforded the opportunity to source income from other avenues or sectors, they cannot even waiter or work at a McDonald's for an extra income because of the complete lock-down.
This impacts men and women from all age groups, from a one-man business offering their services to bigger companies and small and medium companies with employees.
This sector is in full shutdown and at this moment there is no clear indication when tourism and travel will re-open and the sector will start functioning to generate income for very needed life supporting income.
Due to the structure and nature of the industry especially the one-man Professional Hunters many of them also do not qualify for unemployment benefits or government grants in this time of need.
In addition to this, there is a support fund managed by the tourism department of South Africa of R 200 Million ZAR which is about $ 11 Million USD to support an industry employing hundreds of thousands of staff and consist of thousands of companies operating in this industry servicing about 11 Million Tourists per year.
The funds allocated to the tourism department for relief would not even scratch the surface of the full crisis in the tourism industry.
The companies in the hunting tourism sector is also not necessarily a high priority sector because of the anti-hunting sentiment that has been promoted in the past about the hunting industry and hunting has become a bit of a stepchild of the tourism industry in Africa in recent times.
To add to this the tourism department is now facing a high-court challenge from civil society accused of race discrimination based on their condition for applications of relief, this is based on the South Africa Black Economic Empowerment policies and the department has won the court bid maintaining their black economic empowerment policies.
The effect of the policies affects hunting businesses detrimentally because they are mostly small to medium enterprises mostly owned by a single professional hunter which does not leave lots of room for partners and profit sharing to comply with these policies, further to this the policies implemented also does not account for the small unregistered individuals who are not formally registered as a business with government but rather a sub-contractor below the minimum requirements to register a business with government.
This process and policies imposed is leaving little to no hope at this moment for the people working in the hunting tourism sector and is leading to desperate circumstances for fathers, mothers and children directly affected by this sector.
We are asking Hunters to unite behind the Africa Hunting industry, to assist if you can, we know many hunters who are also in challenging circumstances and we do not ask help that will cause you any personal financial suffering or challenges, but if you have the ability, we have thousands of people in desperate need of basic essentials and support.
Funds raised by this campaign will also be directly donated to the PHASA (Professional Hunting Association of South Africa) foundation, PHASA is one of the biggest Professional Hunting Associations in the world and the biggest in Southern Africa, the board of the fund has the ability to manage and assist where there is real and desperate need and will assure your contribution does not go to waste or are spent for the purpose other than supporting individuals in real need of essential support.
The intended use of the fund is to offer these Professional Hunters and their staff, basic supplies where needed in the form of food and medical support and secondary is monetary support where there is a desperate need to support their families and staff to meet their responsibilities in this time of no income.
If you have the ability, please share this with your friends, your hunting club and your pro-sustainable use friends or groups.
Do not let the anti-hunting groups strike a victory in the midst of this world pandemic and celebrate an unintended victory, support your brothers in hunting.
Thank you for your Support, Love from Africa.
Hunting Outfitters who Support this Fund Raiser.
Marvel Africa Hunting Safaris - http://www.marvelafrica.com/
Dries van Coller Safaris - http://www.dvcsaf.com/
Wild Wildebeest Safaris - http://www.wildwbsafaris.com/
Phillip Bronkhorst Safaris - http://www.pbsafaris.com/
Kuche Safaris - http://www.kuche.co.za/
SADAKA Safaris - https://www.sadakasafaris.co.za/
Wildebeespan - http://www.wildebeespan.co.za
Chris Troskie Safaris - http://www.ct-safaris.com
Choronga Safaris - https://www.chorongasafaris.com/
Little Okavango Safaris - http://www.littleokavangosafaris.co.za
Motsomi Safaris - https://www.motsomi.com/
Thank you for your support.