The COVID-19 regulations have damaged the already fragile economy even further. Although farms could continue with their operations, the disruption of markets such as the restaurant and bar industry, as well as the informal sector, left many producers in financial distress. Tobacco, wine and game farmers are in trouble and especially smaller family farms are facing cash-flow problems.
At Saai, the organisation for family farmers, these family-based farms remain our focus and we will leave no stone unturned to keep them in business. Saai is currently representing the interests of the family farmers in the tobacco industry and their workers in our court battle against the draconian campaign that the state is currently waging against smoking through the COVID-19 regulations.
“The game and hunting industries give us the most sleepless nights, however. Hunters from abroad, who stimulate the greatest turnover on game farms through trophy hunting, will not be visiting this year. Thousands cancelled their trips. This has a damning impact on job opportunities, auctions, butcheries, guest houses, taxidermy and firearm businesses. It erased about R20 billion from the deep rural economy, leaving every game farmer in a financial predicament,” says Dr Theo de Jager, Chairperson of Saai’s Board of Directors.
Saai will therefore be launching a major Go hunting! campaign this winter. Although local biltong hunting will never replace what we have lost in terms of trophy hunters from abroad, it can be crucial in keeping game farmers on their farms,” De Jager says.
If you are an occasional hunter who go to game farms with your rifle once every few years, 2020 is once again that time. It is the ideal opportunity to make memories, take photos and make biltong together with your family somewhere in the African bush. For another family, this may mean the difference between survival and ruin.
Follow this link for travel document for hunters.