2. Legislation

Hunting related legislation varies amongst the 9 provinces of SA.  Information is available from provincial Departments of Nature Conservation.   Provincial Ordinances and promulgations are roughly based on that of the 4 "old provinces", but all of these are under review.  The PHASA web site references these offices.  During my own limited dealings with the law interpreters of the provinces they struck me as competent and cooperative individuals, doing their best to assist under the constraints of the bureaucracy.  These officials will go the extra mile to ensure that the ordinances are understood and implemented.  When in doubt, ask them.


Legislation around the “biltong” (jerky) hunter is lacking sadly though.  Anybody's brother-in-law and his buddy may take to the bush with a firearm and shoot the living daylights out of game that comes into sight, as long as he can pay, and the farmer approves.  The "antis" thus have valid ammunition, which us hunters provide them with.  The Confederation of Hunting Associations of Southern Africa (CHASA) designed training material which has become the informal minimum standard of competence required from local hunters.  But there is no legislation (yet) to back it.  It was naively envisaged that the recently revised Fire-arms Control Bill would address this aspect, but it did not.  We are left with no more than a moral obligation (hopefully driven by peer pressure?) to behave as hunters should.  (Observe the values of African Econo Hunter.)


The updates to the laws around fire arms have potentially far reaching effects for self-defense,  shooting sport, hunting and collectors.  Following the English and Australian proven recipes for failure, the South African Government added yet one more First World pipe dream to its fantasies on the Dark Continent.  There is continuous lobbying (world wide of course) for removal of all guns from society.  With large numbers of illegal fire-arms in the hands of criminals, the idea is to disarm law abiding citizens to curtail crime.  The debate is quite emotional, and not the topic of this web site.  Fortunately the net effect on hunting is not likely to be much in the short term.


Law enforcement is not exactly a South African strength!  Statistics of murder, rape and armed robbery are of the highest to be found, yet we subscribe to (debatably) the world's most ambitious constitutional model.  It is my belief that when you make rules without policing them, if fosters a culture of lawlessness.  As far as the practical policing of the hunting laws are concerned, we are however fortunate in that these are fairly well enforced, thanks to hunters, game farmers, outfitters and Nature Conservation holding hands to make it work.


A personal observation:

I support the practice of self-control within an industry sector.  This is usually achieved by setting agreed minimum standards, followed by certification and continuous monitoring thereafter.  The certification & monitoring body may be internal (if the sector is rather unique) but should preferably be an independent third party.  These measures not only set quantified comparators for healthy performance-related bench marking, but also curtail the fly-by-night syndrome.

I do not support protection of industry purely by law.  This is fertile soil for an unholy alliance between the bureaucrats in power and the "old boys club".  Such an industry becomes inward-looking and complacent.  It is a recipe for inefficiency and bad customer service.

It is my observation that both of these scenarios exist (in pockets of excellence and pockets of arrogance) in the SA hunting industry.

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