Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy has revealed that 1383 animals were donated by conservation management authorities to communities over the last two financial years.
Creecy said 837 game were donated in 2021-22, with 742 being from SANParks and 95 from the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA).
She also said 546 game were donated in 2022-23 with SANParks donating 354, ECPTA donating 122, Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife 60 and Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs 10.
The minister was responding to parliamentary questions from Freedom Front MP Tamarin Breedt, who enquired about game donated to communities, emerging farmers and other persons, among other things.
Breedt also wanted to know the details of follow-up evaluations of the success of the donation or loans, including whether populations of the species have been established as a result of the donations.
In her written response, Creecy said her department was working with conservation management authorities in implementing the game donation programme.
“The role of Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment is to coordinate reporting of the game donated by the conservation management authorities at a national level,” she said.
Creecy also said the records or personal information of the beneficiaries of game donations or loans , their location, type of species and game that have been donated were kept by the various conservation management authorities.
“Such records can be obtained from the various management authorities responsible for the initiation, management and execution of the game donation programme.”
She, however, stated that her department meets quarterly with the conservation management authorities to track progress on their commitment for game donation.
Creecy also said the conservation management authorities have their respective game donation or loan policies which set out the responsibilities of the entities and recipient pre- and post-game donation.
“Initiates are under way with management authorities to develop a national post-game framework that will be used to monitor and evaluate the impact of game donation or loan programme in terms of its contribution to transformation as well as socio-economic and conservation impact,” she added.
Meanwhile, Creecy said the recent population data for giraffes was estimated between 21 053 and 26 919.
“The population within state-protected areas is estimated between 10 000 and 15 000 individuals, of which between 7962 and 12366 occur within national parks.
“An additional estimated 3000 are on provincial reserves and approximately half of the population can be found on privately owned land,” she said.
Asked about the number of giraffes hunted for trophies over the past three years, Creecy said information on the hunting of giraffe could be obtained from the provinces.
“Hunting is prohibited in the national parks.”
She also said 17950 export permit issued giraffe products and 684 live individuals were exported in the last three years.
“The numbers are not indicative of the actual number of giraffe hunted, but rather the number of products made out of giraffe derivatives.
“It is not possible for the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to indicate the number of giraffes hunted from CITES annual reports.”