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Professional hunters castigate their SA colleagues for bending “ethical hunting” rules

Professional hunters castigate their SA colleagues for bending “ethical hunting” rules

Statement by Danene van der Westhuyzen, President of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association

The Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) feels compelled to issue this statement in reaction to the decision reached by the Professional Hunting Association of South Africa (PHASA) to, by way of amending a constitutional definition, now allow for and condone, inter alia, the “hunting” of captive bred lion.

NAPHA, cannot sit idly and allow actions which we firmly believe to be contrary to both our aims and objectives, as well as the internationally recognized principles of ethical hunting in Africa, to go unanswered

PHASA decided at their Annual General Meeting held on 22 November 2017 that, in future, their constitution would define the term “ethical hunting” as: “Ethical hunting shall mean all types of hunting permissible by law”. This amended definition was approved at their AGM by majority vote.

NAPHA is shocked and deeply disappointed that PHASA has decided to take the low road by amending its constitution to include a bland and superficial definition of the word “ethical” that now leaves the door wide open to abuse and exploitation by those who clearly have no concern for the future of hunting in Africa, or around the world.

It must also be unequivocally stated that this amending of the PHASA definition of the term “ethical” flies in the face of the Code of Ethical Sport Hunting Conduct for Africa, co-signed at Victoria Falls in 1997 by the late Mr Basie Maartens, acting as president of PHASA, as well as the Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa Memorandum of Understanding, also co-signed by PHASA, which clearly define what these bodies deem to be termed ethical.

NAPHA recognizes that the majority vote which approved this constitutional amendment was achieved by a vote of less than one third of its membership. NAPHA wants to believe that the majority of hunters in South Africa do not support this change in constitution as well as condemns any form of Captive Bred Lion practices, and shall therefore continue to have NAPHA’s support in rectifying this grievous wrong.

NAPHA would like to place it on record that there is a distinct and profound difference between the definitions of the concepts of “legal” and “ethical” and that, just because something might be legal (or not yet deemed to be illegal), it is therefore ethical.

There is no law expressly forbidding knowingly shooting a pregnant animal, or animal with dependent young but, by any definition of the word ethical, this would be condemned by any right minded human being with even the vaguest comprehension of what ethical means. In terms of the amended definition approved by PHASA, this type of action would now be deemed by them to be ethical.

By reaching this decision, PHASA has decided to ignore the majority opinion of both the hunting and the non-hunting community around the world and, by so doing, has placed all the hard work undertaken by various institutions in support of sustainable hunting as a tool of conservation, in jeopardy.

Both NAPHA and numerous other African Professional Hunting Associations have, in the past, warned PHASA that, by even considering this course of action, they are heading down a very slippery slope where short-sighted decisions would be detrimental to the entire hunting industry worldwide.

In addition to this, the decision taken by the majority of PHASA members now leaves the door wide open in South Africa to engage in Captive Bred Lion Shooting (please note that NAPHA, along with the majority of African Hunting Associations affiliated to OPHAA (Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa) as well as APHA (African Professional Hunting Association), considers this type of activity to be in direct contravention of what we consider fair chase and ethical hunting, therefore, cannot be called hunting).

There is a very fine line between Captive Bred Lion Shooting and Canned Lion Shooting, if any; and this activity has been condemned around the world.

PHASA, by engaging in fancy semantics, attempts to veil or justify their decision but, irrespective of what PHASA might choose to call it, canned and captive shooting are rejected by all ethical hunters who believe that there is small difference between the two. In addition to this, semantics aside, this decision will be met with shock and disgust by the non–hunting public worldwide.

Despite this, PHASA has chosen to ignore the warnings of numerous Hunting Associations in Africa and world opinion and now allows for the shooting of Captive Bred Lion.

As such, NAPHA has no choice but to condemn this short-sighted and ill-advised decision by PHASA in the strongest possible terms and has no choice but to distance itself from this decision which has severely tarnished the reputation of the entire African hunting industry.

We shall continue to stand firm in our beliefs and support Hunting Associations throughout Africa and the world who share our mission and vision, whereby ethical and fair chase hunting outweighs any short-sighted focus on financial gain.


 

 

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Sanlam 2018 Annual Results

7 March 2019

 

Sanlam’s 2018 annual results provides testimony to its resilience amid challenging operating conditions and negative investment markets

Sanlam today announced its operational results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018. The Group made significant progress in strategic execution during 2018. This included the acquisition of the remaining 53% stake in SAHAM Finances, the largest transaction concluded in the Group’s 100-year history, and the approval by Sanlam shareholders of a package of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) transactions that will position the Group well for accelerated growth in its South African home market.

Operational results for 2018 included 14% growth in the value of new life insurance business (VNB) on a consistent economic basis and more than R2 billion in positive experience variances, testimony to Sanlam’s resilience in difficult times.

The Group relies on its federal operating model and diversified profile in dealing with the challenging operating environment, negative investment markets and volatile currencies. Management continues to focus on growing existing operations and extracting value from recent corporate transactions to drive enhanced future growth.

The negative investment market returns and higher interest rates in a number of markets where the Group operates had a negative impact on growth in operating earnings and some other key performance indicators. This was aggravated by weak economic growth in South Africa and Namibia and internal currency devaluations in Angola, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Substantial growth in Santam’s operating earnings (net result from financial services) and satisfactory growth by Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) and Sanlam Corporate offset softer contributions from Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) and Sanlam Investment Group (SIG).

Key features of the 2018 annual results include:

Net result from financial services increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2017;

Net value of new covered business up 8% to R2 billion (up 14% on a consistent economic basis);

Net fund inflows of R42 billion compared to R37 billion in 2017;

Adjusted Return on Group Equity Value per share of 19.4% exceeded the target of 13.0%; and

Dividend per share of 312 cents, up 8%.

Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ian Kirk said: “We are satisfied with our performance in a challenging operating environment. We will continue to focus on managing operations prudently and diligently executing on our strategy to deliver sustainable value to all our stakeholders. The integration of SAHAM Finances is progressing well. In addition, Sanlam shareholders approved the package of B-BBEE transactions, including an equity raising, at the extraordinary general meeting held on 12 December 2018. Our plan to implement these transactions this year remains on track.”

Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) net result from financial services declined by 5%, largely due to the impact of new growth initiatives and dampened market conditions. Excluding the new initiatives, SPF’s contribution was 1% down on 2017 due to the major impact that the weak equity market performance in South Africa had on fund-based fee income.

SPF’s new business sales increased by 4%, an overall satisfactory result under challenging conditions. Sanlam Sky’s new business increased by an exceptional 71%. Strong growth of 13% in the traditional individual life channel was augmented by the Capitec Bank credit life new business recognised in the first half of 2018, and strong demand for the new Capitec Bank funeral product. The Recurring premium and Strategic Business Development business units also achieved strong growth of 20%, supported by the acquisition of BrightRock in 2017. Glacier new business grew marginally by 1%. Primary sales onto the Linked Investment Service Provider (LISP) platform improved by 5%, an acceptable result given the pressure on investor confidence in the mass affluent market. This was however, offset by lower sales of wrap funds and traditional life products.

The strong growth in new business volumes at Sanlam Sky had a major positive effect on SPF’s VNB growth, which increased by 7% (14% on a comparable basis).

Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) grew its net result from financial services by 14%. Excluding the impact of corporate activity, earnings were marginally up on 2017 (up 8% excluding the increased new business strain).

New business volumes at SEM increased by 20%. Namibia performed well, increasing new business volumes by 22% despite weak economic conditions. Both life and investment new business grew strongly. Botswana underperformed with the main detractor from new business growth being the investment line of business, which declined by 24%. This line of business is historically more volatile in nature.

The new business growth in the Rest of Africa portfolio was 68% largely due to corporate activity relating to SAHAM Finances, with the East Africa portfolio underperforming.

The Indian insurance businesses continued to perform well, achieving double-digit growth in both life and general insurance in local currency. The Malaysian businesses are finding some traction after a period of underperformance, increasing their overall new business contribution by 3%. New business production is not yet meeting expectations, but the mix of business improved at both businesses.

SEM’s VNB declined by 3% (up 6% on a consistent economic basis and excluding corporate activity). The relatively low growth on a comparable basis is largely attributable to the new business underperformance in East Africa.

Sanlam Investment Group’s (SIG) overall net result from financial services declined by 6%, attributable to lower performance fees at the third party asset manager in South Africa, administration costs incurred for system upgrades in the wealth management business and lower earnings from equity-backed financing transactions at Sanlam Specialised Finance. The other businesses did well to grow earnings, despite the pressure on funds under management due to lower investment markets.

New business volumes declined by 13% mainly due to market volatility and low investor confidence in South Africa. Institutional new inflows remained weak for the full year, while retail inflows also slowed down significantly after a more positive start to the year. The international businesses, UK, attracted strong new inflows (up 57%).

Sanlam Corporate’s net result from financial services increased by 4%, with the muted growth caused by a continuation of high group risk claims experience. Mortality and disability claims experience weakened further in the second half of the year, which is likely to require more rerating of premiums in 2019. The administration units turned profitable in 2018, a major achievement. The healthcare businesses reported satisfactory double-digit growth in earnings, while the Absa Consultants and Actuaries business made a pleasing contribution of R39 million.

New business volumes in life insurance more than doubled, reflecting an exceptional performance. Single premiums grew by 109%, while recurring premiums increased by a particularly satisfactory 56%.

The good growth in recurring and single premium business, combined with modelling improvements, supported a 64% (71% on a comparable economic basis) increase in the cluster’s VNB contribution.

Following a year of major catastrophe events in 2017, Santam experienced a relatively benign claims environment in 2018. Combined with acceptable growth in net earned premiums, it contributed to a 37% increase in gross result from financial services (41% after tax and non-controlling interest). The conventional insurance book achieved an underwriting margin of 9% in 2018 (6% in 2017).

As at 31 December 2018, discretionary capital amounted to a negative R3.7 billion before allowance for the planned B-BBEE share issuance. A number of capital management actions during 2018 affected the balance of available discretionary capital, including the US$1 billion (R13 billion) SAHAM Finances transaction. Cash proceeds from the B-BBEE share issuance will restore the discretionary capital portfolio to between R1 billion and R1.5 billion depending on the final issue price within the R74 to R86 price range approved by shareholders.

Looking forward, the Group said economic growth in South Africa would likely remain weak in the short to medium term future, and would continue to impact efforts to accelerate organic growth. The outlook for economic growth in other regions where the Group operates is more promising. Recent acquisitions such as the SAHAM transaction should also support operational performance going forward.

“We remain focused on executing our strategy. We are confident that we have the calibre of management and staff to prudently navigate the anticipated challenges going forward,” Mr Kirk concluded.

Details of the results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018 are available at www.sanlam.com.