A Journey of Social Transformation and Prosperity for All
home // page // A Journey of Social Transformation and Prosperity for All

A Journey of Social Transformation and Prosperity for All

On the occasion of this Biodiversity Economy Innovation Conference when various industry players are called upon to answer the question of how we are responding to the economic challenges facing our country, it is an honour for me to present our pledge of the Wildlife Economy stream of the BioDiversity Lab.

We are making a pledge to spare neither strength nor effort to honour the commitment we make here today.

Mr. President, we want to position our country to be globally competitive in the eco-tourism sector in order to stake our claim to our share of the global tourism dollar – we want to position South Africa as the leading eco-tourism destination in the world.

After all, there is no country in the world that has the unique comparative advantages that we already possess in the Wildlife industry, namely:

  • our natural bio-diversity
  • private ownership of unique genetics of rare species
  • established wildlife ranching infrastructure
  • scientific and veterinary expertise
  • available natural land and fundamental country infrastructure

We recognize and acknowledge the Biodiversity Lab as a step towards resolving many of the socio-economic challenges that  face our country.

In partnership with government, we pledge to bring to reality and to elevate the outcomes of the Biodiversity Lab, and to create an economic success-story through the building of a viable wildlife economy.

The grand master-plan is to create a whole new economy that leverages the unique wildlife species that are found in our country to create an ecotourism industry that will be driven by black industrialists and entrepreneurs.

This whole new economy will be driven by:

  • sustainable game breeding programs to supply the expansion of eco-tourism
  • huge hunting concessions to support the utilization of our natural resources
  • commercial abattoirs to support game meat production
  • rhino conservation projects to support the preservation of this iconic African species

We are committed, in partnership with government departments, to unlock socio-economic opportunities for the good of all South Africans through mentorship, skills transfer and collaboration, allowing for:

  • sustainable livelihoods
  • orderly land reform
  • food security
  • education
  • entrepreneurial opportunities

We have the capacity to utilize marginal (agricultural) land to generate economic value for our people.

We must utilize large tracts of unutilized land that borders our national parks to stimulate consumptive and non-consumptive tourism in our country. We have our majestic big five species and other rare species to offer a latent and growing demand of wildlife products and experiences from the rest of the world.

Mr. President we believe we are the architects of our own future – our destiny is in our hands, however there are conditions that are necessary for all this prosperity to materialize.

What we need from our government is an enabling legislation that is consistent with the outcomes of the Biodiversity Lab,

We need

the collective leadership of the state, private sector and the tribal authorities and traditional leaders that preside over most of our rural land.

We need

Policy certainty that will allow us to mobilize foreign direct investment into the wildlife economy.

As the wildlife industry we would like to challenge our government to take bold steps to “create a new wave of growth and prosperity in the wildlife industry, by leveraging our unique natural strengths for the benefit of all South Africans.”

 Mr. President, Khaba Rume Rine’… we are ready and willing.

25 August 2018
Addressing amongst others,
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Minister Dr Edna Molewa
Premier Stanley Mathabathe
Vho Thovhela
Gole Mphaphuli
Photo Credit WRSA