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How to spend R 2.73 million

08 March 2012, 11:06

If you had R2.738 million…How would you spend it?   WE spent it on anti-rhino poaching…..

The Unite against Poaching Trust have had the pleasure of allocating how the R2.738 million, which has been donated to the fund by Unitrans VW & Audi, has been spent in combatting rhino poaching in SANParks.

It is most women’s dream to be able to spend that amount of money as you see fit, but the trust have had some difficult decisions to make in distributing the funds appropriately. Rhino poaching makes the headlines daily and the public outcry over the apparent inability to curb the poaching put even more pressure to ensure that the funding is used effectively and efficiently. As the custodians of the majority of the rhino population in the country, SANParks has to be the major focus of the Trust.

There are about 400 rangers in the Kruger National Park with an additional 150 new rangers being appointed in a bid to stem the rhino poaching Tsunami engulfing the country. Ensuring the rangers are adequately equipped both physically and mentally to deal with the arduous task of tracking and apprehending poachers is a minimum requirement. Their skills in counter intelligence, needs to be continually updated and high demands are placed on the experienced trainers to accommodate the requirements from SANParks.  Providing field equipment such as rucksacks, tents, water bottles, compasses, cooking equipment, first aid kits and basic sleeping gear was the first priority closely followed by ensuring sufficient funds were allocated for specialist field and counter intelligence training.  Augmenting the training of the field rangers remains a priority.

Monitoring and tracking rhino in threatened areas is also a high concern and some of the other reserves outside of Kruger Park have been assisted to provide the ability to monitor the movements of their rhino population and secure their presence, with more to follow.

The foxhound tracker project which is newly established, promises to be an exceptional weapon in the counter poaching arsenal. Their specialised training is well under way and it is anticipated that the tracker dogs and their dedicated handlers will in the near future play a significant role in apprehending poachers. We are extremely proud to have Combi, Chico and Jetta in the wings waiting to be unleashed on the poachers.

Unite against Poaching have also been able to provide some R 200 000 in support of the Rhino DNA project ( RHODIS) at Onderstepoort under the banner of the Pretoria University. This project aims to capture the DNA profile of all the rhino in the country. The scope of the project is immense and the possibility of providing forensic support to prosecute poachers is already a reality. The possibilities of having a national Rhino Identity registry are conceivable and we are honoured to be able to contribute to the success of this project.

Having already spent R2, 738 million, we are looking forward to being able to make a difference in the next few months and go the extra mile and help fight the war against rhino poaching. We need your help to do this!! The more vehicles sold within the Unitrans VW & Audi group the higher their donation. The company donates funds proportional to the vehicle sales, both new and pre-owned, without compromising the customer as to service excellence and best pricing. What a win win situation!!!

Please share this with your friends, colleagues and families and together we CAN make a difference!

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