I love being outside, I do a lot of hunting. -Sam Hunt

Executive Officer’s Report 2016

By Chris Jennings

Our Association has experienced a year with various challenges, some of which have been manifested over the past couple of years – the most notable of which is outflow of our financial reserves due to arrear payments for VAT. In addition, unexpected membership cancellations and the direct and indirect effects of the prevailing drought have compounded these challenges. These issues will be covered in the President’s report and the Financial Report in more detail.

However, in spite of the above-mentioned challenges, the Association experienced another year of positive growth in membership as the information below reflects. We did initially have a decrease in membership as a result of the usual cancellations for various reasons as well as unpaid subs. However, we have recovered well from this and exceeded expectations. Many thanks to the Individuals and Branches for the hard work they have done in assisting with this growth in membership.
Membership

 

At the time of this report, our membership totalled 3 011. This figure is a milestone for the Association and the highest number achieved to date. Actual members, after cancellations were accounted for as at the end of 2015, was 2 368 – therefore an increase of 373 members which equates to 14%. It is interesting to note that our membership grew by 12% in the previous financial year, which makes the increase this year most encouraging. Unfortunately we had to write off 295 members in February this year due to unpaid fees and various other reasons. The increase in members during 2016 will include those members who re-joined the Association. Based on the figures above we are accumulating around 1.5 members each working day.
We have 1 288 members who have successfully obtained Proficiency status (43% of Members), 998 members (33%) who have achieved Dedicated Hunter status, and we have 25 accredited Professional Hunters in our membership. In addition, with CHASA authorising our Association to accredit qualifying members with Sport Shooting status, we have 57 members (2015 – 13 members) who have general Dedicated SS status and 14 members (2015 – five members) who have Dedicated Handgun SS status. For details on how to qualify for Sport Shooting status, please contact your Branch Committee for information. One of the positive benefits of attaining accredited SS status is that firearm licences have a term of 10 years.
Some further stats for your information: we have prepared 438 (2015–241) endorsements for firearm applications for our members in support of their personal applications to CFR – which relates to approximately eight endorsements per working week.
Members are encouraged to undertake the training for Proficiency status, as this is the minimum requirement for hunting in any Ezemvelo Controlled Hunting Area, and is also becoming a requirement from the majority of the land owners with whom we are currently arranging Association hunts. Besides the additional knowledge you will gain, the courses are great fun and you get to meet fellow members and hunters from the Association. Please liaise with your respective Branch Chairmen in this regard.

 

Office

 

The Association office continues to be a hive of activity, specifically during the open hunting season, due to members’ requirements for licences, TOPS permits, targets, hunting gear, booking Association administered hunts, firearm endorsement letters and new membership applications for example. Not forgetting the members who pay us a visit just to chat, which we welcome. Due to this ongoing seasonal activity, we have budgeted to employ an additional staff member on a fixed term contract, five days a week, to assist Hannelie and Rose and to enable them to perform their day-to-day tasks. This individual will, in addition, be on hand to assist the relevant portfolio holders with the various projects that the Association will be undertaking.
We have expanded on the diversity of the “Camo Corner” stock in 2016, and besides numerous books on sale, we currently stock a range of DVDs as well. Specific items, as well as items out of stock, can be ordered through the office or on our website.
The office switchboard has been upgraded, and in anticipation of the establishment of the Association shooting range at Umhlali and we have connected telephone extensions to the three offices in the upstairs area – one of which is anticipated to be utilised as the control room and administration centre for this project. The other two offices are being utilised for the “Camo Corner” stock room and for storing additional stock items.
With regard to the administrative function of the office, I need to highlight the importance of members adopting the use of electronic communication. For those members who do not have an email address, please consider giving us a family member’s email address if this is suitable and convenient for you. It is certainly a time-consuming and costly undertaking to post notices and other information to members. In addition, the once-efficient postal service seems to be experiencing its own challenges. Members who use the postal system can lose out on hunting opportunities and important notices.

 

Hunting

 

The Association arranged and administered various hunts for our members during 2016 and a big thank you to Geoff Müller, Alan Swart, and Hannelie for ensuring the process went as smoothly as possible with regards to the Kameelkop opportunities. As this is certainly a team effort, I would like to thank all those members and non-members who assisted in this success. The mother of one of our members, who is a pupil at a local high school, approached us to assist her in raising funds to enrol her son in a wildlife conservation college. We were able to obtain a package of animals from the Kameelkop hunting quota and this was put out as a raffle to the members. Thank you to all who participated – we managed to raise R25 700.00 towards the fees for this member.
Due to the prevailing drought in the Phongolo Game Reserve, we were not allocated any animals from Ezemvelo KZNWL for hunting/auctioning in 2016. However, we were able to offer our concessionaires and successful bidders at the AGM like-for-like packages at Kameelkop. A few of these packages were taken up in exchange for the Phongolo packages and members were well satisfied with the hunting experience at Kameelkop.
We expect to be allocated a quota of animals once again for 2017 from the land owner at Kamberg and will confirm this with you in 2017. We received numerous additional hunts during the year, without the office taking on the administrative function for these hunts, and we trust that the members who participated in these hunts were successful and had an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Revenue from Hunting Licences issued from the office this year totalled R13 447.00 (R12 569.00 in 2015).
We have been approached by various other land owners who have hunting available and who have approached the office to administer these hunts on their behalf in 2017. When these are confirmed we will communicate the details to you. It is anticipated that there will be more hunting opportunities available in 2017 than ever before.
A special word of thanks to Karel Landman who very generously donated, on behalf of the Karel Landman Trust, annually and on an on-going basis, 24 non-trophy Warthogs and six days accommodation in one of his bush camps for Junior Hunter Courses. An initial JHC was hosted by Zululand Branch this year and the prevailing drought made hunting these normally prolific animals very challenging. A report on the JHC will be included in the December issue of the Nyala News. It is anticipated that this opportunity will be shared by the Branches on a rotational basis.
There is a good possibility that hunting in the Phongolo Controlled Hunting Area will go ahead in 2017 once again. Subsequent to a recent site visit with Ezemvelo officials it was decided that a quota of animals would be available to us. This will, however, be subject to further periodic site visits between December and February to determine whether this will still be a viable option. The site visit confirmeed that the animals currently in the reserve have survived the devastating drought due to “survival of the fittest”. These animals appear to be in good health and good condition – the vast flood plain that has developed due to the recedingg Jozini dam has generated vegetation that has sustained the animals thus far. More information regarding the Phongolo CHA hunting opportunities will be communicated via the AGM booklet and newsletters.

 

Nyala News Magazine

 

The Association’s Nyala News magazine continues to be of a high standard and we have received many compliments on the quality and content of the editorial. Unfortunately, due to the cost of producing a membership magazine of this quality and due to our current financial constraints, it has become necessary to request members to contribute towards the production costs and postage of the magazine. Special thanks to the Firetree team for their hard work and dedication in ensuring the magazine retains a professional image. Many thanks to the advertisers and contributors who have submitted interesting articles and photos to ensure the content is varied and interesting.
Please remember, this is your magazine and we are continuously looking for suitable content for each edition so please submit whatever you can to assist us in producing a magazine we can all be proud of. The next edition is due in December and will include the highlights of the AGM.

 

Website

 

The Website has been upgraded and although it was a joint effort to achieve this, special mention needs to be made of the work done by Hannelie and the team at Firetree to maintain and update the site. In addition to the updating of current information, we are receiving ongoing adverts for the sale of hunting related items as well as hunting opportunities and urge members to check the Website regularly to take advantage of these.

 

Nyala Golf Day

 

This is another highlight of our annual activities and we had entries from 16 teams consisting of 4 players each. Ezemvelo generously donated a hunting package for us to Auction at the prize giving function and as usual we were able to generate much needed funds for our Conservation activities. Many thanks to all the sponsors for their kind donations which added to the success of this event.
The Nyala Golf Day for 2017 will commemorate our 15th anniversary of this event and is expected to be held on 21 April. Please add this to your golfing calendar as we are planning a special event.

 

Affiliation and Meetings

 

The Association is a respected member of various Organisations and Forums and is represented on the following:

 

CHASA –continues to meet and lobby with both National and Provincial Government departments, Private Sector and International partners to promote and ensure we continue to enjoy the Freedom to Hunt. With the recent appointment of Stephen Palos as CEO there has been a noticeable increase in the activity of CHASA as well as the reduced time it now takes to achieve finality on important issues. CHASA also represents affiliated Associations on the Hunting and Wildlife Association of SA forum (HAWASA).

 

Provincial Hunters Advisory Committee – Forum consisting of representatives from the major hunting related Stakeholders with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

 

National Hunters Forum – CFR accredited hunting and shooting Associations and other Stakeholders in the hunting Industries meet to discuss challenges of common interest.

 

National SAPS/CFR Consultative Forum – Additional meeting between above members with CFR decision makers to ensure the FCA is efficiently managed and administered. With the recent appointment of Maj-Gen Jaco Bothma heading the SAPS/CFR delegation we expect to see a marked improvement in the licencing and renewal application process.

 

Provincial Predation Forum – Chaired by the Wool Growers Association. Solutions for preventing and combatting predation of stock are explored. Possible opportunities for DCAC activity and support.

 

CIC – We are no longer an Independent member, but now an Associate member via CHASA.

 

SAGA – SA Gunowners Association.

 

WESSA – Wildlife and Environment Society of SA.

 

SACAN – Partners in combatting illegal poaching with dogs and general poaching activities. Members were introduced to a “911” emergency reaction service offered by SACAN via the July edition of Nyala News, followed up by an electronic and telephonic campaign.

 

EWT – Endangered Wildlife Trust. Specifically active with Oribi Conservation and anti-poaching.

 

WRSA – EXCO has been offered a seat on the Provincial Committee of Wildlife Ranching of South Africa to further the interests of both Organisations, which we have accepted. This will surely increase the hunting opportunities for members and we trust our association with the KZN and National Committee of WRSA will be long and mutually rewarding.

 

In conclusion, I would like to thank our special office ladies for the dedication and support I have received from them during this year – it has been a team effort ensuring the level of service to our members remains high and that it is carried out in a most efficient manner. Also a big thank you to our President, Bruce Ambrose, and EXCO members for the support the office and I personally have received during the past year.

 

MEMBERSHIP BREAKDOWN AS AT 18 OCTOBER 2016

kznhunting memeber breakdown as at 18 october 2016

 

Members with dedicated status as at 31 August 2016 : 998

Members with proficiency status as at 31 August 2016 1 : 288

Members with professional status as at 31 August 2016 : 25

Members with dedicated sport shoot status as at 31 August 2016 : 57

PLEASE NOTE: Provisional membership figures as at 31 August 2015 was 2 : 933. Subtract the 295 members written off in February 2016 and we reach 2 : 638.