Net closing in on poaching syndicates

17 May 2018

The war against the scourge of rhino poaching is paying off with four syndicate poachers arrested and given a combined 30-year prison sentence.

While the number of rhinos lost to poachers was still high, Ezemvelo, in partnership with various stakeholders, has introduced a number of initiatives which minimised poaching incidents.

Reporting on the latest rhino poaching statistics, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala said at this time last year, KwaZulu-Natal had lost 76 rhinos to poaching - a figure that has reduced to 47 rhinos lost over the same period.

While he was not at liberty to divulge too much of information around the fight against rhino poaching, Zikalala said the department’s partnership with law enforcement agencies to fight rhino poaching was yielding results. The MEC lauded Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for having job creation at the forefront of their business model. “A total of 2 340 young people were employed to remove invasive and alien plants within protected areas in the last financial year where R35 million was spent on this programme. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife also employed 422.

Environmental Monitors.

Zikalala announced that Ezemvelo has agreements with various funders that will result in   3 000 work opportunities created in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Ezemvelo will also employ the following seasonal workers at a total cost

of R19 million broken down as follows:

• 47 game capture seasonal workers at a cost of R2.4 million,

• 41 hospitality seasonal workers at a cost of R3 065 million, and

• 1 040 seasonal workers for fire management duties at a cost of R13.932 million