R25 mln set aside to curb rhino poaching

2012-06-06 00:00

KZN has set aside R25 million to stop poachers from killing its remaining 4 000 rhino.

The strategic anti-rhino poaching plan will be a key focus of the KZN Agriculture and Environment Affairs Department in the coming year.

Delivering his budget speech yesterday, Agriculture MEC Meshack Radebe said funds would go to a provincial rhino security intervention plan that was in sync with the national government’s intervention.

“We cannot allow people to just destroy our natural heritage,” said Radebe. He added that he was happy that so far there had not been evidence of collusion between criminals and local officials, and he hoped that KZN could maintain that record.

The MEC would not elaborate on the province’s tactical plan, but warned that it was fully aware that it was dealing with “dangerous people”.

“Some of them are well trained in terms of shooting and we need to beef up our security and engage and defeat these criminals who want to kill our rhinos.”

Radebe said the strategy was to curb rhino poaching through effective intelligence rather than being reactive. He emphasised that staff needed to be well trained to combat the threat.

Dr Bandile Mkhize, head of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, said 23 rhino had been killed in KZN since January . Of these, 12 had been killed in private game reserves and 11 in Ezemvelo game reserves. He said project would include meetings with the owners of private reserves.

Mkhize said that the R2 million raised at a game auction two weeks ago would go to the anti-rhino poaching project.

KZN’s rhino population stood at 4 000, he said, and was the second largest after the Kruger National Park.

• nalini@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.