Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism transforms wildlife sector

The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) is responsible for the management of the provincial protected area network in the Eastern Cape Province under the Department Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism (DEDEAT). The agency is mandated with the implementation of the National Biodiversity Economy Strategy in the province. Both the provincial policy and strategy were developed and aligned to the National Biodiversity Economy Strategy (2015). These strategic plans and approaches take into consideration different aspects of the biodiversity and socio-economic background of the people of the Eastern Cape. The three important pillars of the Biodiversity Economy Strategy are an economic transformational role, sustainable use of biodiversity and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of the natural capital.

Wildlife sectors beg for a transformational approach in order to move away from the less inclusive South African past. Within this sector, significant investment in land availability, as well as infrastructure, is required to properly position PDI’s and wildlife game farmers. DEDEAT, through its implementing agency ECPTA, has embarked on a programme that strives to enable these interested PDI’ and wildlife game farmers by providing scientific advice, strategic planning support and initial animal introductions.

The Game Transformation policy was developed by ECPTA, approved by the EC Cabinet with an eye on activating wildlife transformation targets. An invitation for Expression of Interest for Game Farming Transformation Initiative – GFTI (REP No: 03/15/16) was published and a total of 21 applicants were received. The responses comprised of 19 of the targeted previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs) and 2 were institutions like the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife that offered their support for this EC initiative.  Of the total PDIs, 9 offered land ownership with verifiable title deeds, 3 relied on communal land while 7 relied on land leased from the government.

The applicants with the leased land were divided into 50% long-term leasing (more than 25 years) and 50% short-term leasing (less than 10 years).

Of the 19 expressions, 3 applicants met all the criteria outlined in the ECPTA Game Transformation Policy as adopted by the ECPTA Board and approved by the provincial cabinet in 2016. These include exciting local EC property owners and land claimant settlement communities who are supported by the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to improve infrastructure for the purpose of handling their game allocations. This game wildlife programme has made available a total of 260 animals valued at approximately R3 million. These animals include the highly valued Cape buffalo, bontebok and black wildebeest to mention a few.

Blow are the details of the first 3 recipients, their location and types of animals they are to receive from ECPTA:

Krompoort Farm – Nkhonhoni Game Breeders

Owner: Xolile Dasheka

Size of property: 1240 hectares

Existing Game on the property: Kudu, Reedbuck, Duiker, Steenbok 

Species approved for translocation from ECPTA:

RESERVE OF ORIGIN SPECIES

NO

Oviston Nature Reserve

Oviston Nature Reserve

Oviston Nature Reserve

Great Fish River Nature Reserve

Tsolwana Nature Reserve

Springbuck

Blesbuck

Black Wildebeest

Buffalo

Red Hartebeest

25

30

30

10

20

MiarEstate

Owner: Nonkqubela Mayatula

Size of property: 750 hectares

Existing Game on the property: Giraffe, Eland, Cape Mountain Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Sable, Nyala, Bontebok, Impala

Species approved for translocation from ECPTA:

DONOR RESERVE SPECIES

NO

Great Fish River Nature Reserve

Great Fish River Nature Reserve

Tsolwana Nature Reserve

Tsolwana Nature Reserve

Eland

Kudu

Hartebeest

Bontebok

10

15

30

5

Brakfontein – Likhayalethu Communal Properties Association

Owner: Likhayalethu CPA

Size of property: 1245 hectares

Existing Game on the property: Kudu and Duiker in low numbers

Species approved for translocation from ECPTA:

DONOR RESERVE SPECIES

NO

Great Fish River Nature Reserve

Tsolwana Nature Reserve

Eland

Red Hartebeest

10

30

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You’re also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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