Cape Buffalo Farming Partnership May Be Answer To BEE In South Africa


Published: August - 2008

In South Africa, you'll recall that government officials have been wrestling with BEE (black-economic empowerment). The idea behind BEE is that black Africans should be more directly involved in the hunting industry and receive more of the economic benefits. This has lead to calls for safari operators to take on black partners and PHs, and punish those who don't by denying them certain permits or access to species such as leopards. Demands for BEE are not limited to South Africa. In Namibia, the allocation of government hunting concessions has been postponed for two years because of BEE issues. But now former President of PHASA Stewart Dorrington may have the right solution to BEE. Dorrington is behind a project that he says is completely different from anything else that has been proposed, namely a joint venture to game ranch Cape buffalo for breeding and hunting purposes.

This community project is a private partnership between the Doornlaagte community and the Dorrington family's Olifantsvlei Farm, where they operate Melorani Safaris (www.meloranisafaris.com). They are located three hours northwest of Johannesburg. The community there has 8,030 acres of land adjoining Olifantsvlei and has agreed to allocate 1,730 acres to the buffalo project. That would support 70 buffalo, and with the escalating price of buffalo for breeding and hunting, Dorrington says that the sale of only half a dozen buffalo a year would make a considerable difference in the lives of the people from Doornlaagte.

The plan involves the community acquiring a number of buffalo and the Dorringtons contributing an equal value. The Dorringtons will provide the expertise in management and marketing while training community members. The idea is that the community will one day buy out the Dorringtons and run the project on their own. Until then, the proceeds from the sales will be divided equally after costs.

An estimated 200 households, with a total of 1,600 people would benefit from this project. It could also be the first step in realizing the Madikwe corridor community hunting area, which would link the Madikwe Game Reserve to the Doornlaagte community........(continued)

 
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