Electric fencing worries Kruger visitors

2013-04-01 21:56
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Mbombela - Tourists have expressed concern about the effectiveness of the electric fencing surrounding the Pretoriuskop and Skukuza camps in the Kruger National Park.

Long grass along the fences may be interfering with the electricity flow, warned Matt Harmse form the Swift Group, which specialises in electricity, maintenance and plumbing.

“When one sees vegetation on or near an electric fence it can mean that the fence is discharging and may still be functional, but cannot function optimally,” Harmse said.

One visitor to Pretoriuskop, Malcolm Sands, said the grass along the fence was waist high and that the fence didn't appear to be on.

He said there were also no firebreaks.

“This is very dangerous as elephants and wild game may be able to enter the camps and fires could jeopardise the safety of guests and staff,” he said.

He added that conditions in the camp were generally poor.

“My family and I were quite shocked upon entering the camp site to find the area badly eroded and maintenance not up to standard. Paint is peeling from the walls in the bathrooms,” said Sands.

Another tourist, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she was looking down from the deck at the restaurant section of Skukuza camp when she noticed a problem with the electric fence.

“I couldn't hear the machine of the electric fence ticking. In my opinion that electric fence was not on and I got really scared. What if a crocodile or a hippo decided to walk up the river bed and enter the camp?” she said.

All day visitors and campers are required to sign an indemnity form upon entering the Kruger's camps

South African National Parks spokesperson Ike Phaahla said the electric fences were always energised, except when maintenance was being done. 

"There is a problem of weeds in that particular area [Skukuza] and according to my colleagues in the [Kruger], there are teams working hard to try and remedy the situation.

“As you might be aware, there has been a lot of rain in the park recently and that has added to the problem but our teams are on it and working hard to keep the park clean and decent.

"There has been a backlog, but it is being addressed.

"If the fences were off, it could be because there was maintenance taking place and it would be switched back on again once the team is done,” said Phaahla.

Read more on:    sanparks  |  mbombela

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