Vanderbijlpark South Africa: 20 November 2013 - Preliminary findings from the Department of Environmental Affairs’ latest statistics show that hunting tourists contributed R811 million (2011: R901 million) to South Africa's economy in 2012.
Department of Environmental Affairs deputy director – policy development Magdel Boshoff, speaking at the Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa's (PHASA) 36th AGM and Convention in Vanderbijlpark, said the results were still subject to an audit and verification process but no material differences were expected between this report and the final one.
The statistics were based only on species fees (the amount a hunting outfitter pays a landowner to harvest an animal) and daily rates (the fee a client pays a hunting outfitter) meaning that the total economic contribution of overseas hunters is understated. The statistics also exclude the impact of local hunters, numbering some 320 000, who hunt mostly for venison.
The top three source markets for hunting tourists were the USA followed by Denmark and Spain.
Last year, 40 866 head of game were hunted compared to 48 605 the year before. Rhino hunts showed the biggest decrease with only 52 harvests taking place in 2012 (2011: 137) and contributing R36 million (2011: R84 million) due to stricter criteria used in issuing rhino hunting permits. Lion hunts showed the largest increase with 596 lions harvested in 2012 (2011: 445) and contributing R122 million (2011: R77 million) at an average species fee of R203 000.
PHASA chief executive Adri Kitshoff said South Africa is home to 2 700 wild lions and 5 000 captive bred ones. "Our lion populations are stable. So are Tanzania's, a country which boasts 16 800 lions and where lion hunting is also permitted. The countries showing the most alarming declines in lion numbers are those where lion hunting is prohibited such as Kenya and Botswana," she said.
For further information contact Adri Kitshoff, PHASA chief executive, on 083 650 0442.