Published On: 12 Jun 2022By Categories: News & Events, Latest News

Modimolle, 21 May 2022 – WRSA hosted the long-awaited Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the Safari Festival at Castle de Wildt in Modimolle. WRSA members from all corners of South Africa came together to catch up on important developments in both the organisation and the industry.

Colin Engelbrecht, Vice-Chairman of WRSA acted as Master of Ceremonies on the day. WRSA Director Charl du Toit opened the AGM with a scripture reading (Genesis 1:29) and prayer. WRSA Chairman Gerhard Heyneke then gave a quick snapshot overview of the industry in South Africa to date. A highlight of his presentation was that WRSA is in a very good position and is looking forward to continual growth.

WRSA is focused on attaining Goal 15 of The Global Goals for Sustainable Development et by the United Nations, which is Life on Land: “Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”

Emphasizing the responsibility that all game ranchers share to conserve but also to improve the species in their care, a positive takeaway is the success of the South African model based on the principles of an Agro Sustainable Biodiversity Wildlife economy.

A challenge for the wildlife industry is the growing momentum behind the anti-hunting or modern conservation lobby in The United States of America, the United Kingdom and France emboldened by the bad hunting legislation and/or regulation of countries like Chad, Niger, Sudan, Mali, Senegal, and Togo.

In WRSA CEO Richard York’s presentation, he emphasised data as the key requirement of the future of the industry:

“Without data, we have no future. Without data we can’t tell our story. Without information, without knowledge, we can’t share what we are achieving.”

WRSA are putting systems in place to address the questions surrounding conservation, biodiversity, and the numbers of animals in South Africa with good data with an online ranch management system.

Another innovative product being brought to market is a unique electronic tagging system: the WRSA Traceability, Accountability Guaranteed, or TAG, system. It is a near-indestructible booklet of detachable TAGS with a unique QR code that can be allocated to specific trophies that are hunted with specific hunters to maintain traceability.

The biggest responsibility of WRSA is transformation. To that end, the organisation has formed the Social Ethics and Transformation Committee. At the 2022 People & Parks Conference, WRSA made commitments that as industry WRSA will support communities by providing the know-how, the mentorship, the experience and provide the assistance to communities to grow their game ranches. The challenge going forward, is for game ranches to transform their hunting operations.

WRSA Financial Director, Charl du Toit, to give a quick overview of the financial position of WRSA. The bottom-line summation is that WRSA achieved a clean audit with a net profit, a positive turn from previous years. The organisation’s finances and the financial planning for the rest of the year is well on track. The areas where extra financial focus is being placed is the need for a legal fund as well as increased marketing and communication spend.

Agility Agri

Dr Jacques Snyman, non-Executive Director of Agility Health care, took a few moments to speak to the meeting about their Agility Agri product, a product focussed on the agriculture and ranching industry.

Agility Agri has been part of administering medical schemes and insurance products within the health industry with specific focus on integrating their approach so that it all makes sense to the rancher. They pride themselves on covering the continuum of care needed by the rancher for himself, his family, and his employees. The continuum of care starts with wellbeing; that health is maintained. However, doing healthy things does not always come naturally to a person – like exercise. To bridge that gap, a rewards programme is offered that reward people for healthy behaviours, such as participating in a healthy activity such as walking and going for pre-screening tests.

Agility Agri have products that work, starting with an employee care product, which gives access to a telemedicine line, a general practitioner, dental and a mental health trauma line. All of this could be in place from the lowest salaried employee right through to the rancher and his family. Agility Agri also offers integration with life and disability cover, linking to retirement funds and the retirement processes put in place for the employees.

Their multi-cultural call centres are also set-up to speak the language of the person who calls, they understand the rural environment and they can assist in finding providers and helping to deliver services in remote areas.

The Safari Festival

The Safari Festival saw a wide variety of exhibitors and food stalls for visitors to enjoy. From valuable industry service providers, highly entertaining slogan t-shirts there was something to tickle the fancy of every festival goer. Juba provided the music while line dancers entertained the crowd with their dance moves and the youngsters took on the mechanical bull.

Potjie competition

The highly anticipated, and highly competitive, potjie competition between the WRSA Board of Directors and the RIGS kept the day festival spirits up, despite the icy wind and expected poor weather.

Under the watchful eye of the Crown National red truck, the pots started bubbling at 13:00 and before long the aroma of meat and spices filled the air. Late in the afternoon the potjies were ready and the team of judges consisting of George and Zander of Crown National, WRSA vice-chairman Colin Engelbrecht and Gys Pitzer of Gys Pitzer Motoring started the difficult task of tasting and judging the entries. After intense deliberations, the decision was made, and Juba announced the winners:

First place: Cortiva/Ecoguard for their curry crocodile pot

Second place: Malan Davey and Rouan Nel of Naboom with an Eland shin pot

Other entries included:

  • North West – Eben Visser and Franco Joubert
  • Gauteng – Oom Piet and Moets du Plessis with an innovative game meat and dumpling potjie
  • Two enthusiastic students from SAAI Johan de Beer and Maree van den Berg
  • Anton Stroebel

Game meat wors competition

A delicious variety of game meat wors was prepared for the competition, and beautifully served. Crocodile sosatie wors Game meat cheese wors, spekwors, was carefully prepared and barbequed.

The closely contested competition was won by Thaba Tholo, followed by Eben Visser and Peet Koen.

Crocodile on a spit

Another highlight was the much-discussed crocodile on a spit – which drew many curious onlookers but somewhat fewer adventurous foodies. Every visit was accompanied by interesting facial expressions and hand gestures! Comments ranged from “Over my dead body!” to “It tastes just like chicken!”

Flower arranging contest for the men!

The ladies decided to test the men’s finer senses and challenged them to a flower arranging contest. Under loud encouragement from the gathered crowd, the men revealed their hidden talents. Andrew Aphane walked away with the laurels with his creation, “The Round Table.”

The festivities and good spirits among festival goers continued late into the evening, and the always-electric duo The Campbells made sure the day ended on a high note and much dancing.

WRSA ladies enjoy coffee and cake at the Castle

Sponsored by Agility Health Squared

Bianca York welcomed the ladies with an appropriate passage from Ephesians (Ephesians 6: 14-18) and opened the day with prayer.

Pandarasie kicked off the morning’s entertainment with his characteristic energy and wit. Henriette Marx, from the program Net Koffie on channel 144, shared her fascinating life experience and, here and there, a tear was shed.

Then she talked about coffee; of how we should enjoy coffee, with or without sugar, with or without milk, with condensed milk, hot or cold. According to Marx, the ladies should preferably drink coffee black, just as long as they drink coffee!

Carol Pieters of Crown National demonstrated how easy it is to cook with Crown National products. She made the most delicious game meat biltong soup and venison pepper pies. (Click on the links for the recipes!) Each lady received a gift basket from Crown National along with the recipes. The ladies could immediately taste the dishes and had only praise for the fare.

Dr Jacques from Agility Agri also spoke to the ladies regarding the innovative, integrated health and wellness products they offer.

Lastly, Pandarasie showed the ladies how quickly and easily one can make a colourful flower basket to brighten up the pale winter.

Marijke Voight, a young artist from Mossel Bay, donated a beautiful face study and commission for a face study of the buyer’s choice to WRSA, which was auctioned by Hertie Lerm, a young auctioneer from Lazarus Game Farm, together with flower baskets and 4 aprons donated by Pandarasie.

Marisa Engelbrecht and Janelle Badenhorst bought the artworks, respectively. Riana Heyneke and Sonette Lerm snatched up the flower baskets and the 4 aprons were bought by Niki Penthorn, Charmine Nel, Marisa Engelbrecht and Ankie Stroebel.

Afterwards, the ladies enjoyed the rest of the morning with the most delicious Vietnamese cakes, muffins, brownies, and coffee.

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