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Special Newsletter: 8 July 2020

This special newsletter deals with five important matters.

  1. Impact of Media24’s changes on SA Hunter and Man Magnum

Covid-19 had a major impact on the business sector in South Africa, and printing works for newspapers and magazines did not escape the negative effect of the lockdown either. The Caxton media house announced quite a while ago that they could not continue to publish their magazines.

Media24 also announced that they would be closing some of their magazines, while reducing the frequency of some titles, and only make others available on electronic media.

How does this announcement affect SA Hunters?

Our two magazines, SA Hunter and Man Magnum, will continue in their printed format, albeit with some changes. Media24 met with the board of directors of SA Hunt Publishing (Pty) Ltd in this regard. The board of SA Hunters accepted Media24’s proposal to continue with the magazines as economically viable as possible.

The following changes are applicable to our magazines:  

  1. The frequency will reduce from monthly to 8 editions annually.
  2. Contracts have been signed with the two current editors to continue providing content for the magazines.
  3. The price of the magazines will remain unchanged for this year. Each edition of the magazines will cost slightly more, but the annual subscription will not change now. It might increase next year.
  4. The content of each magazine will increase and improve to add value to the higher price per edition.
  5. each edition of the magazines will remain available on shelves for longer.

Read Media24’s media release here.

  1. Hand delivery of magazines

The Post Office remained closed during the first phases of the Covid-19 lockdown and did not deliver any mail. Although the Post Office reopened, it would take them more than a month to sort and deliver the backlog. This means that many members did not receive their June and July editions of the magazines.

SA Hunters can hand deliver the magazine to approximately 8000 members living in cities. We already sent e-mail to these members to indicate their preferences. Please check your mail for this message and let Michel Schoeman know at michel@sahunt.co.za which option you prefer. Also check that we have your correct residential address for delivery on the system.

  1. Magazines on electronic media

Due to the delivery delays with the Post Office, we arranged that the June and July editions of the magazines be made available to members on electronic media. Members that did not receive their June and July editions, can let Michel Schoeman know at michel@sahunt.co.za to arrange for access to the magazine on electronic media.

  1. Congress 2020

The Covid-19 lockdown also had a negative effect on SA Hunters – just as it had on most other businesses countrywide. It costs SA Hunters approximately R1,3m to host its annual congress, NBCF and the formal dinner. Most of these costs go towards travel and accommodation.

Due to the reduced income streams during the Covid-19 lockdown, the Board of SA Hunters considered the possibility of not hosting the congress this year at all. We sought the opinion of board members, regional coordinators, branch chairpersons, managers, and members of the heritage council. In principle, there were three options to consider, e.g.:

i) Skip the 2020 congress

ii) Present the 2020 Congress as a virtual meeting with a full agenda.

iii) Present the 2020 Congress as a virtual meeting to discuss only essential matters.

By the closing date for feedback, 93 out of a possible 102 members responded of which 74 had indicated that 2020 was an extraordinary year and therefore, we should not have a Congress at all en refrain from making decisions in 2020.  

Therefore, the Board decided:

  1. Not to host a Congress and NBCF in 2020
  2. To delay all matters scheduled for discussion at Congress 2020, to the Congress in 2021
  3. To extend the terms of office of board members that would have expired at Congress 2020, to Congress 2021
  4. To extend the terms of office of board members due for expiring at Congress 2020, to Congress 2022, for the sake of continuity and to avoid replacing the entire Board at once.
  5. To prepare the proposed amendments to the Constitution and Internal Rules towards enabling these decisions, as well as any other amendments, for approval by the Board and for communication to branches and members, but only to be ratified at the Congress in 2021.
  6. To record these changes as special decisions together with other congress documents for future reference
  7. To inform branches and members of these decisions in a special newsletter

We trust that members understand and accept these decisions regarding Congress 2020.

  1. Shooting ranges

SA Hunters receives ongoing queries from branches and members about the reopening of shooting ranges for shooting activities. We understand the impatience among members and branch management committees because other shooting ranges are open while SA Hunters’ shooting ranges remain closed.

It is true that certain shooting ranges in the country are open. However, there is a difference between the rules and regulations that govern those ranges and the terms and conditions that apply to the ranges managed by SA Hunters’ branches:

  1. Shooting ranges that have been registered as businesses, are allowed to open and conduct business according to the terms and conditions that apply to businesses.
  2. The shooting ranges used for sport and recreation by SA Hunters, are not allowed to be open because they are subject to the regulations in terms of sport and recreation that are determined by the relevant minister.

In terms of the regulations applicable to sport (refer to the Government Gazette NO. 751 of 6 July 2020 page 10 item 6G – Resumption of non-contact sport),  a sporting organisations must apply to resume their activities. SA Hunters already submitted its proposal to the minister of Sport and Recreation and requested the reopening of shooting ranges. We are still waiting for feedback from the minister. SA Hunters had to include the health and safety measures that branches would apply at shooting ranges to avoid the spread of Covid-19, if the shooting ranges were to open. Should SA Hunters be allowed to reopen the shooting ranges, only organised shooting days supervised by the branch management committees will be allowed to ensure that all the regulations are met. 

With its 81 branches and 90 shooting ranges countrywide, SA Hunters is most probably the association that manages the majority of shooting ranges. It is especially important for us to reopen the shooting ranges as soon as possible to resume our shooting activities, as long as all Covid-19 health and safety requirements are met. We understand that the COVID-19 regulations create uncertainty and frustration. There are numerous views on this matter. Amidst all this frustration, SÁ Hunters prefers to cooperate with government at all levels, submit proposals, find solutions, adhere to the regulations, remain responsible, and advise members accordingly. It took all the hunting organisations (including SA Hunters) and other interested parties weeks’ of hard work to negotiate the reopening of subsistence hunting. We succeeded!

We hope to share good news with members about the reopening of our branches’ shooting ranges soon!

Kind regards

Fred Camphor

CEO: SA Hunters

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