“The year 2020 will always be remembered as the year ‘time stood still’, the year that turned everything we knew, did and even our very existence into complete chaos,” says newly elected chairperson of WRSA, Gerhard Heyneke. “As part of the broader wildlife community WRSA can certainly attest to the fact that 2020 will be remembered as the most daunting year in our history.”

Heyneke also says WRSA can look back with pride at the challenges they have overcome. He attributes this to “the stellar leadership and guidance of the former president, board of directors and the CEO”. “A special thank you to these phenomenal people, who committed so much of their time and effort to ensure that wildlife ranchers still had a voice during a pandemic that turned the entire world upside down,” says Heyneke.

“To our former president, Tebogo Mogashoa, our former board members, Norman Adami, Dale Cunningham, Ellalien Davey, Angus Sholto-Douglas, Jacques Malan, Wicus Pretorius, Wiaan van der Linde and Mike Gcabo and to our former CEO, Adri Kitshoff-Botha (retired), all of whom served so selflessly for many years, we will forever be in your debt.”

WRSA new board of directors

Due to the massive challenges WRSA faced during COVID-19 and the postponement of their annual general meeting, they have officially finalised the election of their new board of directors. The new full WRSA board of directors for the period 2020 to 2022 and their respective portfolios is listed below.

  • Gerhard Heyneke: Chairperson.
  • Colin Engelbrecht: Vice-chairperson and central regional interest groups (RIGS) ambassador.
  • Tebogo Mogashoa: High-level panel representative.
  • Louis van der Watt: Strategy implementation.
  • Malan Davey: Regional interest groups (RIGS) chairperson and northern RIGS ambassador.
  • Kgomotso Maphai: Marketing and brand development.
  • Pieter Ernst Jr: Transformation and land reform.
  • Dr Tlalane Lesoli: Transformation and land reform.
  • Rouan Nel: Conservation research and hunting liaison.
  • Nonkqubela Mayatula: Tourism and southern RIGS ambassador.
  • Dr Peter Oberem: Breeding, animal health and biosecurity.
  • Charl du Toit: Financial administration and events.
  • Thinus Jurgens: Game products research and development.
  • Richard York: CEO.

Heyneke says he is “exceptionally proud of the team we have mustered and am confident that, as a collective we as WRSA will continue to make a difference to the wildlife industry.” – Ursula Human, AgriOrbit