Published On: 22 Apr 2022By Categories: Latest News

Sandton, Johannesburg – The ninth People and Parks national conference was held on 31 March 2022 and WRSA, represented by Chairman Gerhard Heyneke and CEO Richard York, took part in the panel discussion regarding transformation in the wildlife industry. The discussion was led by the Deputy Director General for Biodiversity and Conservation at the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE), Ms Mohlago Flora Mokgohloa.

WRSA reiterated its clear position on transformation, that is, that WRSA is fully committed to transforming the industry. However, transformation can only take place through long-term government and private sector support, and it must be business driven. Beneficiaries cannot receive animals and then achieve success without further support. A business plan, impact study and thorough training must be required along with good mentorship over the long term. Passion for the game industry is non-negotiable and beneficiaries must therefore be passionate about game and wildlife ranching. CEO Richard York delivered an excellent presentation wherein he outlined several possibilities and focused on various factors of transformation, which was received with great enthusiasm. The audience of 500 was extremely positive after the panel discussion despite the enormous challenges posed by the transformation of the industry. The honest and straightforward reality that transformation cannot take place overnight was also emphasized. Great concern that was constantly expressed by the audience centered around fraud, poor management support by government agencies. WRSA will soon have a reconnaissance meeting with various communities to offer support and mentorship for the road ahead. The RIGs can be used throughout SA to provide mentorship in their relevant areas. WRSA is excited about the possibilities that may arise from this and sees this conversation as a foothold for transformation in the wildlife industry going forward.


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