Amended regulations relating to hunting, gazetted by the National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries this week as part of government’s ongoing Covid-19 pandemic response, will have a devastating impact on the already overburdened industry in the Eastern Cape.
These regulations, implemented by an out of touch ANC government, effectively bans any provision of accommodation for hunters and will undoubtedly result in more job losses in the sector!
This is one of the last industries that should be closed over Covid-19 concerns, as hunting is done in the outdoors, and is by nature a solitary activity that does not lend itself to large gatherings.
Hunting is also an activity that takes time, which is why the majority of those who partake in the activity overnight at their hunting destination of choice.
These regulations, combined with the reinstated 9 pm curfew, adds further stress on hunters.
Hunting locations are mostly located in more remote, rural areas where game is more prevalent. Hunters will now have to travel to their destination, track and hunt their target, process the meat and still leave in time to be home before curfew.
Hunting is a significant contributor to the Eastern Cape tourism industry, which by Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s own account, is facing mounting pressure, with at least 45,000 jobs in the sector at risk.
The hunting season generally runs during May, June, July and August. This adds to the distress, as those who rely on hunting as a source of income, only have four months to secure enough income to sustain themselves and their workforce.
Instead of assisting the industry, the government is putting more regulations in place to hamstring them.
These restrictions will have a further devastating effect on those within the hunting industry.
I will be writing to the minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, to request that she lifts the regulations that have been imposed, to prevent any further job losses in our province.
The Eastern Cape cannot afford to further lose any form of income into the province, of which the hunting industry within the Eastern Cape is a huge contributor.