Executive Officer’s Report

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By Chris Jennings

As an introduction to my report this year I begin with the quote below, with kind permission from Ian Cox, which is relevant to all recreational clubs and associations and which has become a challenge to this Association during the past year:

Quote From Ian Cox – a passionate fly fisherman

“You see, a club is not a service provider to whom you pay your subscription and get something back in return. It is not just a good deal – though functioning clubs are a very good deal. A club is a community – and healthy functioning communities are not built on the commercial rules of trade. They are social constructs and social constructs require people to give back to the community they belong to.

You build a business by selling a product people want at a price that people are willing to pay and that leaves you room to make a profit. But successful businesses are only able to do this sustainably because they create a culture of service within the business. That requires the business to inculcate a sense of community amongst its workers. That is why many businesses liken themselves to a family.

A club in a sense is the other way round. The emphasis is more on the importance of community rather than the sale of a product. The community that a club encapsulates is its reason for being – rather than the “business” that drives that sense of community.”

Membership

At the time of this report, our membership totalled 2 595, which is 205 more than the number registered for 2017 after we had written off members who had resigned or had not renewed their membership by the end of November 2017. We therefore achieved an actual increase of 8%. The increase in members during 2018 will include those members who reinstated their membership in the Association. Based on the figures, above we have accumulated around three to four members each working week.

We have 1 174 members who have successfully obtained Proficiency status (45% of members), 991 members who are registered as Dedicated Hunters (38% of members), and we have accredited 35 members for Professional Hunter status in terms of section 16A of the Firearms Control Act. In addition, with CHASA authorising our Association to accredit qualifying members with Sport Shooting status, we now have 106 members who have Dedicated SS status and 22 members who have successfully completed the National Rifle Association’s TYRO handgun exercise. For details on how to qualify for Sport Shooting status, please contact your Branch Committee. One of the positive benefits of attaining accredited Sports Shooting status is that firearm licences for Dedicated Sports Shooters are valid for 10 years.

Members are encouraged to undertake the practical 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 land owners with whom we are currently arranging hunting opportunities. Besides the additional knowledge you will gain, the courses are great fun and you get to meet fellow members and hunters from the Association.

Members who wish to be accredited as Dedicated Hunters in order to own in excess of four firearms and do not wish to take advantage of hunting opportunities administered by the Association can now do so. The practical shooting test has been revised and simplified for this specific accreditation. Likewise, members who wish to be accredited for Dedicated Sports Shooting only can now do so by passing the recently-introduced DSS exam, which means they do not have to first qualify for DH status – which was the process in place previously. Please liaise with your respective Branch Chairman or the office for more information in this regard.

Some further stats for your information: we have prepared 307 endorsement letters for firearm applications for members in support of their personal applications to CFR – which amounts to approximately one endorsement per working day.

Hunting

The Association arranged and administered various hunts for our members during 2018 and a big thank you to Geoff Müller and his team, as well as Hannelie, for ensuring that the process ran 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 who assisted in this success. On a very positive note, after an application for funding was submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs to maintain and upgrade infrastructure and facilities at Kameelkop, we have recently been notified that the funding has been approved. This will enable us to ensure that Kameelkop remains a popular hunting and recreational destination for our members well into the future. Many thanks to Geoff Müller and Bruce Ambrose for their input and assistance with this.

Once again, we were not allocated any animals from Ezemvelo KZNWL for hunting/auctioning at Phongolo Game Reserve for the 2018 season. The term of the existing contract has been extended for two years (for 2016 and 2017) and we expect an additional extension of one year for 2018, which will increase the term of the contract to 2023. We have been in ongoing negotiations with Ezemvelo KZNWL during 2018 in an attempt to bring finality to this matter – and will continue to do so. At the time of this report, we have not received any indication from Ezemvelo as to whether or not we will receive any hunting packages for 2019.

Due to the above situation, we have compiled three hunt packages for auction at the 2018 AGM, details of which can be found in this booklet. We have also managed to obtain an additional hunt package for auction at the annual Nyala Golf Day – details of which will be communicated early in 2019.

We expect to be allocated a quota of animals for 2019 from the land owner at Northington in the Kamberg area, and will confirm this with you as soon as possible in 2019. Likewise with Ven Africa in the Magudu area of Zululand. We received numerous additional hunting opportunities during the year, and we trust that the members who participated in these hunts were successful and had an enjoyable and memorable experience. More details regarding hunting activity can be found in the report submitted by the Chairman of the Hunting Committee.

Once again, a special word of thanks to Karel Landman who very generously donated, on behalf of the Karel Landman Trust, annually and on an ongoing basis, 24 non-trophy Warthog and six days of accommodation in one of his bush camps for Junior Hunter hunting opportunities. The prevailing drought made hunting these normally prolific animals very challenging. For further information on this initiative, please contact your Branch Chairman, or the office. Further information on this initiative can be found under the youth portfolio report in the booklet.

For interest and information – revenue collected on behalf of the provincial treasury for 544 hunting licences issued from the office during the year totalled R16 539.00.

Wildland Youth Programme (Doppie vir die Jeug)

We participated in this initiative, which is co-ordinated by Jan de Man on behalf of Wildland, and have agreed to sponsor all participants a copy of our Hunter’s Handbook on an ongoing basis. Two scholars from the Durban area went through the programme during the year, and with the kind assistance from Leo and Loredana Mattioda, we were able to host them at Tonevale farm at a reduced rate. Further information on this can be found under the youth portfolio report submitted by Willem De Valence.

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. Special thanks to the Fire Tree team for their hard work and dedication to ensuring that 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 will be distributed 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 Fire Tree to maintain and update the site. In addition to regularly updated information, we have adverts for the sale of hunting-related items on the site, as well as hunting opportunities. We urge members to check the website regularly to take advantage of these opportunities.

Nyala Golf Day

This is another highlight in our annual calendar, and we held our 16th event in 2018. In total, we had entries from 15 teams consisting of four players each. Unfortunately Ezemvelo was unable to donate a hunting package for the auction at the prize giving function. However, we received donations and items from other sources which resulted in some lively bidding, and which enabled us to generate much-needed funds for our Conservation activities. Many thanks to all our sponsors for their kind donations which added to the success of this event. The Nyala Golf Day for 2019 is expected to be held on Friday 12 April. Please add this to your golfing calendar – we look forward to hosting our members once again. A hunting package at Kameelkop will be on offer for auction at the prize giving function in 2019.

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, as well as the private sector and international partners to promote what we do and ensure that we continue to enjoy the freedom to hunt. With the appointment of Stephen Palos as CEO in 2016, there has been a noticeable increase in CHASA’s activity, as well as a reduction in the time it takes to achieve finality on important issues. CHASA also represents affiliated Associations, such as ourselves, at the Hunting and Wildlife Association of SA Forum (HAWASA).

Provincial Hunters Advisory Committee – This was traditionally a forum consisting of representatives from the major hunting-related stakeholders which met with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Ezemvelo KZNWL has been tasked by the Department of Environmental Affairs to establish a Provincial KZN Wildlife Forum. It is envisioned that, once this forum is established, it will represent additional stakeholders in the broader industry – with the inclusion of representation from the Hunters Advisory Committee.

National Hunters’ Forum – this includes the SAPS/CFR Consultative Forum and consists of CFR accredited hunting and shooting associations and other stakeholders in the hunting and firearms industry who meet to discuss challenges of common interest. Unfortunately, during the past two years SAPS/CFR have been reluctant to continue engaging with the Hunters’ Forum. Due to this, only one meeting was convened, the purpose of which was to agree on a strategy which will hopefully result in getting representatives from SAPS/CFR to once more attend this very important stakeholder liaison.

SAGA – SA Gunowners’ Association.

WESSA – Wildlife and Environment Society of SA.

FREEME KZN – Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. We have joined this organisation, as corporate custodians, in support of the good work they do in preserving and conserving our indigenous wildlife. In so doing, FREEME has a better understanding of what we as an Association stand for and how we can assist them in achieving their goals.

SA CAN – Partners in combatting illegal poaching with dogs and general poaching activities. Members are encouraged to join this organisation which offers a “911” reaction service to any emergency situation.

EWT – Endangered Wildlife Trust. Specifically, we are active in Oribi Conservation and in combating the practice of illegal hunting of these and all other vulnerable wildlife species.

WRSA KZN – Bruce and I attended the KwaZulu-Natal AGM on 18 October and received valuable information on the activities of the local branch as well as from the national executive. This will surely increase hunting opportunities for our members, and we trust that our association with both the KZN and National Committee of WRSA will be long and mutually rewarding.

True Green Alliance – we are a corporate member of this organisation that very actively promotes sustainable use, including hunting, and is dedicated to counteracting propaganda used by animal rights and anti-hunting lobbyists. Please consider joining the TGA, either in your individual capacity or in one of the other membership categories if relevant.

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

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