Poaching war chest gets R47 mln

2013-02-08 00:00

EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) is set to up its ante in the fight against rhino poaching in the province.

The provincial Treasury allocated EKZNW R47 million in funding that was approved late last year after a proposal was made to the provincial government.

CEO Bandile Mkhize told the KZN Legislature yesterday that R27,3  million had been allocated for the financial year ending in March and R19 million would be spent in the next financial year.

Mkhize said an anti-poaching response unit would be established and trained to act in hot-spot areas. This would be immediately supplemented by the deployment of additional field ranger units at a cost of R4 million.

Security companies would be appointed to patrol road corridors in areas identified as high risk.

Specialised training would be provided to field rangers operating in rhino reserves and they would receive new high calibre rifles.

“Approximately 60 R1 law enforcement rifles issued to field rangers within rhino reserves will be replaced to ensure safety of staff while on patrol.”

Mkhize said horse patrols would be introduced in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

Specialised night sights and prioritised security equipment would be provided for for law enforcement staff.

Mkhize said a community ambassador programme had been launched and would be supplemented through the provincial funding.

EKZNW would also embark on aggressive intelligence gathering and set up a network of informers who would be paid for relaying poaching activities at a cost of R5 million.

Thirty-one vehicles would be bought to replace the ageing fleet in the rhino reserves, Mkhize added.

• Mayibongwe.Maqhina@witness.co.za

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