Kruger deploys police, soldiers, as rangers plan strike

2012-02-02 16:08

Skukuza - Police officers and soldiers have been deployed to the Kruger National Park to assist with security when the park's 248 rangers go on a strike on Friday.

Kruger spokesperson William Mabasa said the deployment of the police and soldiers would ensure that no visitors or animals, especially rhinos, are vulnerable during the protest.

"More police officers and soldiers will be deployed to protect our rhinos from being poached. Rhino poachers always take advantage of situations like this,” said Mabasa. 

"It is indeed unfortunate that our rangers have decided to go on strike at the time when we are at the peak of our war against rhino poachers. These are the men and women that we rely on in our fight against the poachers."

Mabasa further assured guests and the public in general that all contingency measures were in place to adequately deal with the situation.


He said the protesters would not be allowed to cause disruptions at any of the work stations in the park.

"Strikers will also not be allowed to come anywhere near their place of employment during the strike period," said Mabasa.

Mabasa said the strike would involve 361 Kruger employees, including the rangers, who demand equal payment with other employees. He said the demands of the workers were presented to the park's management in a letter delivered on Tuesday.

"They say some of the workers are being paid better than them while they are doing the same job. This is not true because we based our salaries on employees' services, work experience as well as the agreement we reached during the interview," said Mabasa.

However, he added that the park would investigate the claims.

"Our management is currently working on the allegation made by the striking workers. I am not sure when the investigation will be concluded because I am not the part of the team,” he said.


Richard Ndlovu, who represents Kruger employees, accused Mabasa of misinforming the media concerning strike.

“He is telling lies; in fact all the information he gave is not true. We have salary advices showing that employees, who have been working in the park since 1996, are earning less than those who joined the park later,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu said there was a senior ranger who earns less than other rangers.

He said the honorary (volunteer) rangers have indicated that they would be in the park to protect the animals during the strike.

Ndlovu said the employees would return to work after their grievances are resolved.

“Honorary rangers assured us that they would be in the bush to protect the rhinos and other animals,” he said.

  • Willie - 2012-02-02 16:18

    Fire the whole lot and get commited people

      Ben - 2012-02-02 16:25

      Implats set the example by firing 7200. There are so many unemployed people who do not receive any salaries whatsoever.

      Boer - 2012-02-02 19:23

      Willie hoekom strike die mense so baie in daai land?

      JamesBotha1 - 2012-02-02 20:00

      If this is the attitude, I will not trust them at all; there heart is not with the animals. They do it for the money and this is dangerous, what will they then do for money.... Let me think...

      Frankie - 2012-02-03 06:57

      Willie I worked in the park for a long time and these FIELD rangers does not earn the best Salaries in the world. They are the people that stay in the bush for days on end to fight against pouching. They are the once that put there lives on the line on a daily basis and they don't earn a sent extra. I am not supporting this strike but instead of saying they must all be fired just sit back and look at it from there point of few.

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-02 16:25

    well so much for my nice relaxing time in the park this weekend.

  • lindz.kok - 2012-02-02 16:31

    if you dont work you wont eat. im sooooo sick of south africa's lazy b@stards that wont work with this cuped hand atitude... give me give me give me. work is in high demand there are many who would fill those positions for half theyre salerys

  • Jymiro - 2012-02-02 16:38

    I can imagine how hurting is it that I am paid less than my junior while I have the necessary experience and qualification. I hope this is fair to everyone.

  • Italy.FYI.L - 2012-02-02 16:47

    This is a legitimate strike if ever there was one. Rangers can earn as little as R1800 a month for risking their life for an animal that can never say thank you. So to the Game Rangers out there. Thank you for protecting what most ignore

  • duncancharlesbaker - 2012-02-02 16:50

    A sad and sorry state of affairs. Pity the rhino and other animals.

  • Bibi - 2012-02-02 17:07

    Strikers 1 - Rhinos 0

  • Shirley - 2012-02-02 17:08

    Strike,strike,strike-then when they are unable to afford a better lifestyle they blame the whites! Come on people there are SO many people out there who WANT jobs but once again unions are holding the ransom note and strangeling the life out of the country!

  • Tyrone - 2012-02-02 17:24

    This is so typical! When we need them to protect our Rhinos, they take advantage because they know they will get what they want a lot faster. Give the jobs to people who actually care about what happens to our animals, because if they did care there would be no strike @ this time of need!!!

      Allan Neill - 2012-02-02 17:35

      and it is happening right at the time when the moon is full, the poachers are going to have a bright lit moon to do their dirty deeds!

  • isak.botma - 2012-02-02 18:47

    Think its a bit too late!! Dont you think?

  • Burtfred - 2012-02-02 18:48

    You don't get me ,I'm a part of the union! F**k the unions - the most selfish people in the world.

  • taryn.morris.SA - 2012-02-02 20:04

    Good!!! Bravo to the rangers for standing up for their rights. To those have you that have never seen behind the scenes of your beloved Skukuza, the conditions that the loyal, hardworking, honest and dedicated staff are housed and lived in are pitiful. Rangers and other park staff are still squashed into separated, subpar apartheid "staff quarters" which are completely unfair and inhumane. Promises have been made for several years to improve infrastructure and housing for staff ... but still nothing. Surely we can treat the people who secure and safeguard our beloved Kruger Park with a little more respect. Especially considering the MANY years many of these rangers have dedicated to this task!

  • Raul - 2012-02-02 21:06

    Although the right to strike is a RIGHT, there are certain essential professions like doctors,nurses, emergency services,military,police and the rangers should be included,particularly regarding the situation the country is facing in respect to rhino poaching. The right to srike should be restricted or nulified. There are ways to achieve what you want.Certainly not by endangering further the endangered species. If the pachers get thei way,soon we will only be able to see rhinos in a zoo or in pictures.You do not have my sympathy

  • Sipho - 2012-02-03 00:03

    Au - the oversees peoples loves SA jus becos of the Kruga park - now that bit of paradice they see they see our bruthas fighting and duncing. we mus keep the Kruga working so my brutha can have jobs.

  • nyamithi - 2012-02-03 22:21

    if SANParks were serious about rhino poaching they would pay these rangers more in the first place - who wants to risk their life for such a low salary doing the most dangerous job in conservation? isn't protecting rhino worth a decent salary?

  • Lynne - 2012-02-05 13:25

    Field Rangers earn a pittance in relation to the dangerous job they do on a daily basis. People moaning about them making a stand against low wages yet expect them to risk their lives are hypocrites. What would you rather have, people who under appreciated and underpaid seeking alternative possibly illegal sources of income? Look after them, the survival of a species depends on it.

  • Garth - 2012-02-05 13:40

    "It is indeed unfortunate that our rangers have decided to go on strike at the time when we are at the peak of our war against rhino poachers." Surely mabasa, even such a devout anc ignorant as yourself, realises that if they were to strike outside of `peak periods' you would have no cause to attend to their grievances. Surely this is socialist practises 101. You, the useless anc are mostly to blame for the reintroduction of unions into this country, so live with it and pay them a decent wage.

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