Moz border fence may combat poaching

2012-01-16 19:00

Pretoria - Government officials were meeting on Monday to discuss the re-erection of a 150km border fence between Mozambique and South Africa.

Environmental affairs spokesperson Mandla Mathebula said SA National Parks (SANParks) and the departments of environmental affairs and public works were discussing the logistics.

The fence is to be re-erected following a surge in rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park.

"Their meeting is taking place," he said. "I am unable to give further details."

Transfrontier park

Mathebula said there was no threat to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which incorporated national parks in South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

"The transfrontier park will remain intact," he said.

"This does not change the transfrontier park.

The first elephants were translocated from the Kruger to the Mozambican side of the transfrontier park in October 2001.

Former president Nelson Mandela joked at the time that the elephants were lobola for his Mozambican wife Graca Machel.

The release of the elephants was supposed to signal the start of a fenceless mega park, incorporating the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, the Kruger, and Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.

But a spike in rhino poaching has caused wildlife officials to call for the fence to be re-erected.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa told the National Press Club in Pretoria on Sunday that an additional 150 rangers would be deployed to the Kruger this year to combat rhino poaching.

She said government would add them to the existing 500 rangers currently employed in the park.

Two poachers have been killed and another two have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching in the Kruger this year.

In 2011, 448 rhino were killed in South Africa.

Another 11 have been killed in the country this year so far.

R250m cost

One of the department's plans included re-erecting the 150km stretch of fence along the border with Mozambique.

Molewa said 232 people had been arrested for rhino poaching.

SANparks chief executive David Mabunda, who was also at the briefing, said the fence, if approved, would cost an estimated R250m to build.

"We still have a fence or what used to be a fence. That part of the fence is in a bad state of repair."

The proposed fence would be electrified but would not be lethal, and serve more as an early warning system, Mabunda said.

Most of those caught poaching were Mozambican nationals with some South Africans involved. Very few Zimbabweans were involved in poaching in the Kruger.

Mozambicans living across the border of the park were extremely poor and could therefore be enticed by organised crime.

"We need an appropriate organised response," he said.

South Africa has around 22 000 rhino, which is about 80% of the world's rhino population.

The country's rhino population, 22% of which is in private hands, is growing.

However, if poaching levels continued to climb, from 2015 South Africa could see a fall in its rhino population, Mabunda warned.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Africa's rhino population was being exterminated at the rate of about 8 000 animals a year.

Rhino horn rhino is valued for dagger handles in Yemen, while in China and Vietnam it is prized in traditional medicine to treat fevers.

SANparks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said on Monday that most of the rhino poaching was being done in the south of the park near camps such as Lower Sabie and Pretoriuskop.

The fence, he said, was likely to cover only certain areas.

Further details would be released once the meeting on Monday had been concluded.

  • dingane - 2012-01-16 19:23

    If it is not possible to supply the Asian men who need rhino horn with enough viagra it could be considered to solve their problems permanently with a mixture of two parts sand and one part cement.

      braamc - 2012-01-16 19:59

      The problem lies with there small penises

      Ian - 2012-01-17 00:52

      In typical ANC style, wait until all the rhino's are dead then put up a fence to protect them. Eish.

      Annemarie White - 2013-05-29 05:15

      Love it

  • Peter - 2012-01-16 19:27

    Fences are a waste of time. Surprise coming up : international cartel know how to cut fences including electric. Rather poison the horns. The thought of dying on the job should be enough to deflate the most enthusistic erection.

      Adrian - 2012-02-20 03:54

      That was tried recently but tragically, the rhinos themselves died from the poison.

      John - 2012-02-20 06:08

      @Adrian. Where did you get this information? I've scoured Google with all sorts of related keywords but found nothing to support your comment. The only related article was proven to be a myth when supposedly a Thai man died from being poisoned from consuming tainted horn.

  • joeballito - 2012-01-16 19:29

    Slowly but surely they are learning what we knew in those days,trust they will follow suit in other aspects of governing our beloved country.

      Sallie - 2012-01-16 19:42

      Why did they demolished the original fence in the first place? Certain things are there for a reason, not to restrict the so-called "freedom". Another faliure dotted against the regime!!!!!!!!!!!

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-16 19:53

      There was a time 20 years ago where fences and the SADF controlled the borders between South Africa and Moz. Oddly enough the word 'poacher' and 'dead' were the keywords in those days. Nowdays the words 'poacher' 'government' and 'Asian' seem to be the keywords.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-01-16 19:34

    Discussing the re-erction of 150km of fencing. How many more rhino must get slaughtered while we sit around and 'discuss' these things?

      Sharon - 2012-01-16 21:06

      The problem is not the fence but who is going to erect it and how many times more than needed its going to cost the taxman.

  • Francois - 2012-01-16 19:37

    It will also stop illegal immigrants, maybe you should extend the fence all the way from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic. Then Lindiwe Sisulu does not have to put up a poster at huge costs stating the army is keeping our borders safe (it is a lie and a waste of money, someone must have scored big time on that contract), we chase the illegals out of the country in one big effort,see to it that they never return, relax a bit of the labour laws and 2 million of the 5 million jobs, Zuma has promised will be created. Oops, Zuma owes Bob for that nice shower after the gal and for the taxi money to send her home.

      reason.nleya1 - 2012-01-19 22:21

      I think this is about rhino poachers not illegals

  • Chris - 2012-01-16 19:41

    Fences won't solve the problem. Better solutions to this scourge will be (a) more game-rangers and (b) better enforcement of the law - both in Mozambique and South Africa.

      John - 2012-02-20 06:44

      Sounds great Chris, I had a dream.

  • yvonnecraig.linton - 2012-01-16 19:58

    How about catching a poacher or two, paint them with gloss paint (black and white stripes ), drop them in an isolated area (except for lions) !!!

  • Shaylene Stenger - 2012-01-16 20:02

    They should have never brought the fence down in the first place not only because of the poaching but because of the illegal immagrants, now its gonna cost more money to re errect it than if they had of just left it in the first place.

  • Larry - 2012-01-16 20:07

    Its going to need more than a fence to stop these Bastards. It needs the full commitment of all arms of Government.

  • Mike - 2012-01-16 20:13

    When these Buffoons decided to take the fence down it was obvious to anybody with a little brain that exactly this sort of thing would happen. Will they ever learn and stop trying to reinvent the wheel and appease the rest of Africa in misguided thanks for harbouring the struggling masses in years gone by!

  • Trent Hodges - 2012-01-16 20:15

    I want that tender!!!

      John - 2012-02-20 06:47

      Trent, get in line I'm related to JuJu me first.

  • Piet - 2012-01-16 20:15

    Uhm so the Aids ridden SANDF can not secure even that border? What a Joke!!!

  • Christopher - 2012-01-16 20:16

    infrared cameras will work

  • Hunter - 2012-01-16 20:16

    I see all the articles now refer to the horns being used in traditional medicine, curing cancer or fever. Why all the PC talk when everybody knows it is used for an aphrodisiac?

  • Mike - 2012-01-16 20:26

    With all due respect! We can hardly arrest a killer in the streets of his hometown, now we are going to arrest some poachers? Back to basics!!

  • Gerhard - 2012-01-16 20:35

    How smart. We knew all that before 1994. LOL!

  • Xenswim1 - 2012-01-16 20:47

    A possible fact not spoken is that game wardens turning their backs on the poaching problem. Going by the run of the mill SA employee from Teacher to President. It is money that attracts not the vocation. If you mind is on the money then little else matters except if you say the right words then everyone is happy.

  • Hotkop - 2012-01-16 20:57

    There WAS a VERY high tech fence on the whole border. It had the most high tech surveilance, lethal electrified system. In 1994 the newly elected corrupt ANC had the fence shut down because illegals also had the right to live and not be fried. Now, there is almost nothing left of that fence. Every 10m has a hole where people crawl through. Every 200m there are holes for vehicles.

      Hotkop - 2012-01-16 20:59

      And what I said is a FACT! I was deployed on the Moz border last year and we had to stop illegals coming in and stolen/hijacked vehicles going out of that same border. Thank you ANC for shutting the fence down in 1994.

  • Sharon - 2012-01-16 21:07

    The problem is not the fence but who is going to erect it and how many times more than needed its going to cost the taxman.

  • Ian - 2012-01-16 21:17

    why was the fence taken down in the first place, idiots

  • Claire Knoechl - 2012-01-16 21:19

    All this is great but they need to get the kingpins who are running this from the inside! It has to be an inside job, why aren't they investigating the vets and senior people in KNP?

  • nspaynter - 2012-01-16 21:49

    I would rather that the R250m be invested in buying up some farms and turning them into rhino ranches. Breed rhinos on a commercial basis for their rhino horn. Open up a factory here in SA and produce the traditional medication and export it to the East. Surely it will be much cheaper than the present medication. The demand for poached horn will drop and our rhinos will be safe. Rhino in the wild should have their horn injected with poison anyway. The commercial rhino horn can also be used for dagger handles, which I am sure will be cheaper than the poached version. And the spin off will be more jobs for South Africans. Perhaps we could market the medication in other countries.

      nspaynter - 2012-01-17 00:04

      If the Chinese can make our rugby jerseys and Juju branded clothing, we can make their medication!

  • nspaynter - 2012-01-16 21:55

    What would happen if we developed a traditional medication in SA that made use of panda bear claws? And panda bears in China were poached to supply the market? I am sure China would have something to say about that. I have noticed that there is no response from China on the poaching of our rhino. How about some financial contributions from the Government of China?

  • Faizie - 2012-01-17 06:26

    This has nothing to do with killing rhinos, its about a tender to build a fence. Rhinos are just a means to an end. Just like non payment of child maintenance allows you to claim child support grants, free schooling and all and all

  • Calson - 2012-01-17 06:39

    Why why why? Moz, Guys stop killing animals.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-17 09:26

    Typical ANC failure, the fence should never have been allowed to fall into disrepair in the first place. there is no excuse for this slap gat type of management in this country.

  • Rowan - 2012-01-17 09:50

    Why not remove the rhino's horns instead of erecting a new fence. no horn, no reason to poach.

      John - 2012-02-20 07:09

      You know Rowan, the Rhino's horn is probably their pride and joy, just like yours is to you, how about we cut yours off. I say poison the horns already, it will only take a few very sick perverts in Asia for the word to get around that our Rhino horns are potentially deadly. It already caused a huge stir here in Thailand when a myth was posted in a News paper that a Thai man died from tainted horn. I know these guys, they are so superstitious it won't take long. Remember the powdered milk tainted with Melamine a while ago in Asia. You couldn't give powdered milk away here, it was removed from the shelves and dumped into the sea. Also don't forget the Tylenol scandal. Spend R250mil on an internet hosted hoax, then sit back and watch the sparks fly from our new Chinese brothers.

  • nchukana - 2012-01-17 14:08

    If these rhinos belonged to the Chinese. People found in possession of horns would have been eliminated in numbers like the poor Rhinos.

  • Thabo - 2012-01-18 18:02

    R250 million for a 150km fence! R1600 per metre? Is that possible? How much went to bribes/corruption/stealing? R250 million can be more effectively used in many ways instead of a new fence! E.g. With R250 million, at an operating cost of R5 000 per hour, there could be a helicopter patrolling the 150km border for 24hours a day constantly for 5years and 5 months! R5000 per hour x 24hours in a day x 2000days(5years & 5months) = R240 000 000. 5000 x 24 x 2000 = R240 million. Bigger problem: The number of South African farmers murdered every year is more than South African rhinos killed every year. But govenment won't spend R250 million to save the farmers.

  • Andries - 2012-01-18 18:19

    A fence. Electrified, nogal. Erected here and there. To act as "early warning", nogal. Who will react,and how? When a verkleurmannetjie sets it off as happnes all the time. What a silly plan, Mandla Mathebula.

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