President of South Africa
Honorable Jacob Zuma
Honorable Minister of Environment and Tourism
Martinus van Schalkwyk
firstly like to applaud you on the creation of the Job Creation
Fund, it is a bold and visionary move which will, Iím sure, pay huge
dividends in the future for South Africa and those who are unable to
find employment in these tough times.
I have spent
my entire life in the conservation, tourism and wildlife filming
industries which all are interrelated.
conserve the wildlife, the wild life films make the global public
aware and the tourists respond by visiting our beautiful country
I am the
co-owner of Londolozi Game Reserve which has been nominated the best
game lodge in the world.
we entertain 58 guests daily from all over the world and these
guests create 206 jobs for South Africans. It is an outstanding
example of how tourism can play a major role in the creation of jobs
in South Africa.
is establishing schools, clinics and literacy programmes inside and
outside its borders. These translate into a knock on effect of many
touristís biggest incentive to visit Londolozi is the ability to
view and photograph the beautiful yet elusive leopard. It is the
leopard for which Londolozi has become most famous.
ago I became involved in a project to save the highly endangered
country has demonstrated its ability to save the wild tiger and it
now numbers around 1,000 in the wild and declining rapidly.
what I achieved with the leopard, I am now achieving with the tiger
and people from over 43 nationalities have visited my Tiger
Experiment in the Province of the Free State. In addition, 107 jobs
have been created from land which was previously bankrupt sheep
farms, creating very few jobs.
project I hope to expand into other provinces of South Africa,
because it will attract tourists and will create jobs and will
require upliftment and training of rural communities.
has brought me into contact with various provincial organizations
controlling tourism and environment.
officials seem to have no knowledge or concern for the part tourism
can play in the creation of jobs in South Africa.
they are government officials, they take the attitude that the
government policy is of no concern of theirs, they have their own
R50 million project is put forward in a depressed area, which could
create 70 jobs with a multiplier effect and they reject the project
on scientific grounds or they are protecting the biodiversity of the
officials have got to recognize the holistic part that conservation,
endangered species and tourism can play in the regional and national
I might add,
Mr. President, that I can obtain this permit for the project, but
only through corrupt means.
request is this Mr. President, that you request the Minister of
Wildlife and Tourism to look into the decision making process at
How is it
that provincial officials can simply reject a R50 million project
which will create 60 jobs immediately and later over 100 jobs. A
project that will attract tourists from all over the world and help
countries like India with whom we trade daily and play sport against
to save the endangered tiger.
officials have the power and knowledge to reject such proposals?
President I request that you personally get involved in the rhino
poaching investigation. I urge you to let the market forces control.
If a game
farmer invests R250,000 in a rhino, allow him to reap the benefits
of his investment. Allow the farmer or the conservationist to
legally trade the horn which, as you know, re-grows.
do this, opens the door to poaching, illegal trade and corruption.
It brings us into a war which consumes resources and does not
benefit South Africa or the rhino.
It sends out
a message to criminals that money can be made from illegal trade.
that has worked so well for South Africa in the past, is the
government makes the rules and allows private enterprise to flourish
within those rules.
decisive intervention in the rhino poaching crisis is needed
privileged to know former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki,
who spent time with me at Londolozi. Both had a good understanding
of wildlife and tourism as a job creator. They understood that
private enterprise and government were a winning formula.
I wish you
well in the way forward to leading South Africa to a winning nation
in terms of wildlife, tourism and endangered species projects and
congratulate you again on the implementation of the Job Creation
Lightly on the Earth
Co-owner: Londolozi Game Reserve
Co-owner: Londolozi Productions