In an unsigned and undated letter from the Racing Association Board, an appeal has been addressed to industry participants to assist with funding for the South African Equine Health And Protocols.
The letter states that the South African racing industry currently finds itself in troubled times.
In addition to dwindling revenues, we are more recently coming to terms with the current state of uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 virus.
Whilst these immediate issues need addressing, the RA is particularly cognizant of also taking a longer-term view to ensure the sustainability of our industry.
We have recently engaged with South African Equine Health and Protocols (SAEHP) to obtain an update on the current status of the export drive and to consider a request for additional funding.
The RA has been a long-term funder and supporter of the export initiative; a commitment which pre-dates the advent of the SAEHP.
Enormous progress has been made and the South African Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with SAEHP, recently announced the scheduling of the long-awaited EU audit. SAEHP and our Government are confident that South Africa’s risk mitigation measures regarding equine disease, meet or exceed the EU’s requirements.
SAEHP has formed a successful public/private partnership with various organs of state, including both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry. The further development of relationships with the DTI and other Government departments are vital for the future sustainability of our industry.
For further information on the specific work carried out by the SAEHP, please click on the link below:
Recent travel restrictions due to COVID-19 will no doubt impact the finalization of the audit process.
However, SAEHP is confident that once travel restrictions are lifted, the EU audit will be back on track and steps are being taken to ensure that as much of the detail as possible is conducted remotely until travel restrictions are lifted.
Despite generous funding to date, SAEHP currently operates on a month to month basis.
The deficit in funding to finalise the project is approximately R10 million.
The RA believes a final funding drive is needed and remain committed to the cause. This final funding will provide SAEHP with the financial resources necessary to conclude direct export protocols and create a sustainable self-funding model control.
However, the RA cannot do it alone. The Racing Association has committed to an immediate cash injection of R500 000 and has conditionally pledged an additional R1 500 000 on 15 April.
The R1 500 000 is pledged on the condition that broad based support is forthcoming to meet the full project funding requirement
We feel that this effort is worthy of all our support for the benefit of the entire industry. The date of15 April is the timeframe, by which the project must be fully funded in order to justify the investment of RA funds.
The RA serves on behalf of owners and utilizes funds to benefit owners.
We view the financial support of the export initiative as an investment.
SAEHP’s self-funding model will rely on exports becoming a regular racing occurrence.
The RA has committed funding as a pre-payment of future export levies on behalf of RA members. In consultation with SAEHP, it has been agreed that all funds received in this final funding drive will be treated as a pre-payment against future levies.
It is envisaged that the levy for entry into the free zone for export (excluding Mauritius) will be R75 000 per horse.
Funds raised now will be credited to the funder as a pre-payment of the levy at a reduced cost of R25 000 per horse. For every R25 000 raised, a one-horse credit will be given.
In this manner, the RA feels the necessary funds can be raised to complete the project and at the same time provide the funder with a direct tangible return on investment.
Once approval has been secured, the cost and time associated with exporting horses for sale or to race will both be significantly reduced and more economically viable. This is certainly the time for the racing industry to stand together and we appeal to the industry at large to support this excellent initiative in the interests of global inclusion.
For further information and to indicate your support, please contact Adrian Todd on [email protected] or on 076917278