COMMENTS TO THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS, HUNTING OUTFITTERS AND TRAINERS: GAZETTE NUMBER 36744
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on the above proposed Regulations.
Our Association found the workshop which was held in this regard during February 2013 very positive. Although the main reason for the implementation of the Regulations are prevent that professional hunters, hunting outfitters and trainers whose permits have been revoked in one province, to operate in another province, it was confirmed at the workshop that it will also serve as the first step towards one national permit system. Further thereto, we believe the Regulations will be extremely valuable in ensuring one national database for our industry, which has been outstanding for many years.
- Hunting Client:
We propose that the definition for a “Hunting Client” would mean a person that is not resident in the Republic.
Section (b) of the definition should be deleted, reading:
“pays or rewards a professional hunter directly or indirectly through a hunting outfitter for, or in connection with, the hunting of a wild animal”.
It does happen that landowners allow their international friends or family to hunt on their farms, apparently without remuneration and therefore do not fall under the current definition. This result in no record or statistics available of such hunts undertaken by foreign hunters.
International individuals (not SA citizens) who works in South Africa for certain periods and enjoy hunting, frequently hunts on South African farms.
As with the friends or family referred to above, problems arise when these individuals cannot legally export hunting trophies.
To include a definition for the word “National”.
Section 2(1) specifically refers to the purpose of the Regulations to provide a “national” system, which should be clarified.
- Section 2.2:
Proposal: To include the words in bold and underlined:
Any person who intends to operate as a professional hunter, hunting outfitter or trainer in any province must first register once in terms of these regulations, and then obtain a permit from the relevant provincial nature conservation authority/authorities that authorizes him/her to operate as a professional hunter, hunting outfitter or trainer in any provinces.
Although section 18.1 specifies the validity of the registration certificate, the wording of Section 2.2 is not clear that a person only needs to register only once nationally, in order to apply for permits in all provinces. It created the misperception that a person has to register nationally for each province he/she wants to apply for permits.
- Section 3:
Proposal: To include the words in bold and underlined:
A person may not apply for a provincial Nature Conservation permit to operate as a professional hunter, hunting outfitter or trainer, unless such person is registered in terms of these regulations
To clarify that both the once-off national registration, as well as a Provincial Permit is necessary in order to operate.
- Section 6(1)(b):
Proposal: To delete the wording in bold and underlined:
A person who applies for registration as Professional Hunter in terms of these Regulations must submit to the relevant Provincial Nature Conservation Authority:
(b) proof that he/she is either a citizen of the Republic or has a valid residency permit.
As discussed and debated at the February workshop, the awarding of permits to person other than SA citizens, holds a threat as far as job security is concerned for the local, South African Professional Hunters.
- Section 6(1)( c):
We appreciate that the Department bring the age of 18yrs in line with other national legislation. The Firearms Control Act allows for persons under the age of 21 with Professional Hunter’s Status, as well as Dedicated Hunter and Sportsmen status, to apply for competency certificates in order to license firearms.
- Section 7(c):
We believe that the standardization of 21 hunting days over a three-year period, will streamline the National Registration system as it will not be linked to the various different criteria per province eg. 7 days in one year; or 21 days in 3 years).
- Section 8(3)(b):
Proposal: To replace the wording as stipulated below in bold and underlined:
The professional hunting register contemplated in regulation 6(2)(b) and 7(c) must contain as a minimum the following information:
(3) The professional hunter must detach the first three copies thereof and:
(b)within (14) 45 days after the completion of the hunt, supply the second copy to the appropriate hunting outfitter mentioned in such record;
(c) within (14) 45 days after the completion of the hunt, supply the first copy by registered post to the relevant provincial conservation authority;
In the current provincial legislation, the period differs between 14 and 21 days and it is clear that it creates a huge challenge to professional hunters in the busiest time of the hunting season. To allow that all comply, it would be advisable to change the period from 14 to 45 days.
- Section 18(2):
A registration certificate for a professional hunter, hunting outfitter or trainer remains valid for a period of three years.
Proposal; To change the section as indicated below in bold and underlined:
A registration certificate for a professional hunter, hunting outfitter or trainer remains valid (for a period of three years) until the Provincial Nature Conservation Authority/Authorities have informed the National Register that the person is no longer licensed in the province.
As discussed and debated at the February workshop, the registration certificate should be valid for as long as the person is licensed in a province. It should be the Provincial Authorities’ responsibility to inform when a permit has lapsed or been cancelled.
- Section 20(1)©:
An applicant for registration as professional hunter, hunting outfitter or trainer may be refused if :
c) The applicant is under investigation for the contravention or failure to comply with any division of the Biodiversity Act, until such time as the investigation is concluded, and…
Although PHASA fully supports the mechanism to remove operators from the system who act illegally, it is important to have full details of the exact meaning of “under investigation” and that an operator will not be hampered to proceed with his occupation because of inferior complaints.
- Section 22(1):
Proposal: To change the wording as set out below in bold and underlined:
Each candidate must write the standard general examination, as well as a legal examination which would be a combination of all provinces of South Africa’s legislation, in order not to re-write individual legislation examinations at other provinces when applying for permits.
- Section 26(2):
Spelling error: “of” should read “if”.
- Section 26(3):
Comments: The penalties as entailed in this section seem to be totally exorbitant.
In closing, with the Regulations in place, we encourage the Department to make the necessary amendments to NEMBA, to allow for one national permit as soon as possible. This will allow our professional hunters, hunting outfitters and trainers to optimize their business opportunities in South Africa.