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Living Outside the Fence: Sabi Sands, Andrew Rylance Anna Spenceley


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A presentation from the World Parks Congress in Sydney on ecotourism and protected areas, presented at the Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group session on Tourism and Protected Areas, on Thursday 13 November 2014

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Living Outside the Fence: Sabi Sands, Andrew Rylance Anna Spenceley

  1. 1. Living Outside the Fence: Opportunities for neighbouring communities to supply products and services to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa Authors: Andrew Rylance Dr. Anna Spenceley Funded by: the Travel Foundation ( Supported by Sabi Sand Game Reserve Management and Operators (
  2. 2. Paper Overview • Aim to understand opportunities for stimulating local enterprise development within the tourism supply chain, linked to a private game reserve in South Africa: the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, neighbouring the Kruger National Park. • Quantifies the value of current procurement spend by lodges on local products and services and estimates their potential future expenditure. • Provides insights into relationships between private lodges, game reserves and local communities in South Africa. Communities living next to the game reserve fence line Local Thatcher
  3. 3. Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve (SSGR) • 39 commercial lodges in the SSGR, managed by 19 companies. • Next to rhino poaching hotspot – Kruger National Park. • Located within third poorest municipality in SA. • Area of high rural population density - 300 people/km2 • 50% unemployment levels. • Realised that incorporating communities into SSGR supply chains is critical to addressing socio-economic wildlife pressures. Source: GTZ (2010:3)
  4. 4. • 80% lodges procuring at least one product from local communities • Annual current spend (2013) approximately US $ 78,000 • Top 5 Product Areas: Current procurement situation $ 0 $ 5,000 $ 10,000 $ 15,000 $ 20,000 $ 25,000 $ 30,000 Local Craft Fresh Produce Firewood Petrol and Diesel Paraffin • 91% lodges procuring at least one service from local communities • Annual current spend (2013) approximately US $ 550,000 • Top 4 Service Areas: $ 0 $ 20,000 $ 40,000 $ 60,000 $ 80,000 $ 100,000 $ 120,000 Community Tours Building Maintenance Waste removal Thatching
  5. 5. Future Interest in Local Procurement $0 $200,000 $400,000 $600,000 $800,000 $1,000,000 $1,200,000 Local Products Local Services Future Current • 100% of lodges expressed interest in increased local procurement • Total potential annual current purchase (2013) approximately US $ 2 million • Local businesses where expertise currently exists and demand > US $ 10,000 per annum from lodges include: Products Services Fresh Produce Electricians Craft Laundry Services Meat Repair Services: Air-con, Fridges etc Transport Services
  6. 6. Bridging the Gap between Supply and Demand • Demand exists but supplier study indicates that the majority of local enterprises are not yet equipped to meet this demand. • Lodges and communities need to understand and adapt to each other’s constraints. • Local enterprises need to understand how the lodge operates, the demands of their guests and the consequences of poor supplier service on their businesses. • Lodge managers need to better understand the financial, logistical and social constraints on local enterprises and factor these issues into their procurement strategies.
  7. 7. • Sharing the economic benefits of wildlife areas with communities neighbouring protected areas is essential for long-term buy-in to conservation. • Critical to develop a legitimate wildlife economy to compete with the illegal animal product market. • In areas of high poverty levels if benefits of legitimate business activities outweigh those from illegal activities, poaching levels reduce. Why is this useful for other countries? • Demonstrates how links between communities and reserves can be sustainable when based on solid business principles. Why is this important?
  8. 8. Components that lead to success • Effective communication strategy • Existing demand from lodges, who understand the bigger picture! • Business and product development support for community enterprises to supply quality products, consistently and communicate effectively with lodges Enabling factors • Designing transparent processes that respect local protocols • Capacity building requires a multi-faceted approach, tailored to meet the particular demand-supply gap. What makes it work?