The question was, is Furry big enough of a thing in SA that you can actually feasibly run a convention for it? - and I think the answer is, no. Planning this con is very much putting the cart before the horse.
I've been doing my homework on some of the more popular general conventions (like Comic-Con, E3, PAX Prime, Dragon Con, etc), and the more popular furry conventions (Anthrocon, Eurofurence, FurDU, FA United, etc), to try and find out what actually makes a con "work".
All of those cons have certain things in common. They started out a lot smaller than they are today (Anthrocon at 500, EF at even less), grew steadily over time, and likely had strong loyalty (same people visiting every year).
But the thing they have in common the most is that every con is backed by an industry. Each of the general conventions is built around an existing industry, for instance:
- Comic-Con - comic book industry + spinoffs (ala Marvel, DC Comics, etc)
- E3 - electronic entertainment industry
- PAX Prime - games and entertainment
- Dragon Con - Fantasy and fiction
Same thing in SA - we have conventions (and/or festivals) for local industries too:
- Sexpo - adult entertainment
- rAge - electronic entertainment and culture
- Cape Town International Jazz Festival - what it says on the tin
- National Arts Festival (Grahamstown) - local artists and productions
In the US, and to a lesser extent the EU, Furry is an industry. There are companies that produce sex toys, fursuits, and printed books. There's a publishing house or two, independent publications, and an ungodly amount of freelance commission work. A lot of money is being made in that industry, and it starts leading to decision trees like this:
- As a fursuit-making business, it makes sense to spend the money to be at Anthrocon every year
- As a furry DJ for hire, I can book gigs at cons
- As a toymaker, there's no better place to sell my stuff
- As an independent artist, a con is a great place to get exposure and new clients
That's what we don't have in SA yet - a furry industry. Imagine, instead, if this was the scenario:
- A local artist could reliably earn a living from local commissions
- We needed 3+ fursuit makers to keep up with demand
- Local artists were publishing self-produced furry comic books and making a living off it
- Local furry musicians were able to form bands and get reliable sales from their local fans
- Local animators could run Kickstarters to make 100%-local animated furry series/movies
Right now we don't have that. The con, as planned, reads as little more than a stretched-out house party, attended by people who already know eachother, and it won't really generate any new opportunities (commerical or social).
So if it were up to me, we'd organize this con by first spending a lot of time organizing a local furry industry in SA. It's not impossible (remember, rAge gets 15k people/year) to build an industry around primarily art and entertainment, which is what Furry is to a lot of people.