Hunting is an activity that has been an integrated part of the culture and traditions of all population groups of South Africa since time immemorial. Hunting provides access to free-range organic protein and serves as an incentive for conservation as a wildlife management tool, especially in remote areas where land use options are limited.
Fifty hunters met at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria on a Saturday morning, 1 October 1949, to establish the Transvaal Hunters’ Association. At that stage, unbridled shooting of wildlife prevailed. The founding of a hunters’ association was regarded as a means to change that situation around. Right from the very beginning, conservation was part of the activities of the Transvaal Hunters’ Association. The authorities fully supported this development, and the administrator of Transvaal became the patron of the Association. Other honorary members included the provincial secretary, governor general of Mozambique, minister of Lands, deputy commissioner of Police, the conservator of Fauna and Flora, and the head of the National Zoological Gardens.
At that time, the Association obtained hunting opportunities in Bechuanaland [now Botswana], Angola and Mozambique for its members. In 1957, the Association changed its name to the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association. Membership of the Association increased to 286 as people in the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Natal, Cape Province, South West Africa and Rhodesia joined.
The Association donated money to the National Parks Board for Operation Rhino, the Hungarian emergency relief fund, Pietersburg Municipality Game Park, and the Wildlife Management Chair at the University of Pretoria.
Since then, membership numbers increased continuously. By 2023, it increased to approximately 40 000 members in more than 80 branches throughout South Africa with activities offered in hunting, sport shooting, conservation and photography and membership of various relevant national and international forums.
More than seventy years have passed since a small group of hunters gathered at the Pretoria Zoo on 1 October 1949 to discuss the possible establishment of a hunters’ association. Over this period, the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association has grown into one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the country. With more than 40,000 members in more than 80 branches nationwide, the SAJWV plays a prominent role in the management and preservation of our hunting culture, gun rights and natural heritage. The commemorative book tells the story of the origin and growth of this special association.
Meer as sewentig jaar het verloop sedert ‘n klompie jagters op 1 Oktober 1949 by die Pretoria se dieretuin bymekaar gekom het om die moontlike stigting van ‘n jagtersvereniging te bespreek. Oor dié tydperk het die Suid-Afrikaanse Jagters- en Wildbewaringsvereniging gegroei tot een van die grootste nieregerings-organisasies in die land. Met meer as 40,000 lede in meer as 80 takke landwyd speel die SAJWV’n prominente rol in die bestuur en bewaring van ons jagkultuur, wapenregte en natuurerfenis. Die gedenkboek vertel die storie van dié ontstaan en groei van hierdie besondere vereniging.