Annual game auction to raise funds for conservation — Hughes

2014-06-28 00:00

FORMER Ezemvelo CEO Dr George Hughes said the annual Ezemvelo game auction generated funds for the organisation to carry out its conservation mandate.

Hughes –— who was part of a group of rangers who began the auction 25 years ago said the Ezemvelo Game Auction is still one of the premier auction events in the country and Africa.

“The money generated from this event was used for any number of reasons, but at its core it was used for conservation purposes. Before the auction we sold the game at subsidised rates, but once we realised this was being abused by purchasers we decided to let the prices be governed by market forces,” said Hughes.

In May the wildlife organisation raised R16,5 million. The auction which took place at the Sibaya Casino outside Durban was, according to Ezemvelo CEO Dr Bendile Mkhize, the best yet having broken all previous records and it marked the 25th year of the Ezemvelo game auctions.

“This money was never ring-fenced and we had an agreement that money we generated would be spent on conservation facilities.”

Hughes was also instrumental in the opening of Didima Lodge in 2002 to the public.

“Didima is Ezemvelo’s best lodge. It is a beautiful development with wonderful views and it adds value to the tourism sector,” said Hughes about the Drakensberg resort.

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