No date has been set for lifting of the hunting ban that was imposed by government two years ago to reverse the trend of diminishing wildlife numbers in the country. Alice Mmolawa, Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism said in an interview with The Telegraph that no date has been set for the lifting of the hunting ban.
“The ministry is continuing both wet and dry season aerial surveys to establish whether the wildlife population has recovered, as this was the main reason for the ban. However, at the moment certain species are still decreasing,” he said.
The hunting ban caused consternation among the Basarwa communities and has already been challenged in court by residents of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve. In court, the residents argued that the hunting ban has impoverished them as they are no longer given special hunting licenses. Besides the Basarwa communities, some Community Based Trusts which used to make money by selling hunting licenses to safari companies have also raised complaints that the ban has led to huge income losses that are now threatening their profitability. They further said they will soon have to close shop and retrench some of their staff, mostly youth living in impoverished rural areas. Despite widespread protests against the hunting ban, government has remained steadfast that it was a necessary move. Government also came up with a number of schemes meant to financially bailout the troubled Community Trusts. However, not all trusts have benefited and already some of them have started retrenching.