The 'pale male' elite
Africa's hunting industry primarily benefits wealthy landowners, who are, almost exclusively, white. Gareth Patterson, known as 'the Lion Man of Africa' (10) , refers to these beneficiaries as "the pale males".(11) Patterson has told the League: "Hunting pays the hunting industry and handsomely so." This assessment is not disputed by the South African Government. South
Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, stated in a November 2004 press release: "Professional hunting remains by-and-by largely white and male dominated - visibly separate from most South African communities." He has urged hunters to "rapidly and genuinely incorporate all communities as owners, managers, service providers and as customers", suggesting there are "many opportunities for Black Economic Empowerment partnerships with communities".
The "pale male"Â� etiquette has been rescinded to the waste bin. The days are gone for this group to apologise for its natural attributes. It seems that somebody has not noticed that times have moved on. The fact that hunters are male and mostly pale is a commercial reality that nobody can change that. However it would be wrong to claim hunting as an exclusive pale male domain. There are black people that hunt and I believe there are a large number of black people that would like to hunt but that they feel somewhat excluded. Hunting is not the exclusive domain of white males and since the age group of hunters are on the older side it would serve the industry well to promote the activity of hunting, not only amongst blacks but amongst females and the youth alike. After all it still is the single activity that contributed the most towards the conservation of game in this country. It is definitely not South Africa's shame. SAHGCA will do well to approach BGOA (Black Gun Owners Association) with 7000 (?) members and make sure that hunting opportunities are available to those member s who would like to hunt.
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