North Glen News

KZN tightens security to curb rhino poaching

EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife is tightening its security in an effort to prevent rhino poaching. MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, unveiled the province’s anti-rhino poaching plans at a joint briefing between the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife at Spioenkop Nature Reserve.

“Ezemvelo has strengthened its manpower by recruiting an additional 18 security personnel, who will be deployed in 10 rhino reserves,” Zikalala, said. “A command control centre, whose function is to manage the deployment of security personnel and information management, has also been established in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.”

“The province had also partnered with the Department of Environmental Affairs at national level to appoint 412 Environmental Monitors, who had been dispatched to 23 Ezemvelo Protected Areas.”

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The function of the monitors is to educate communities living adjacent to the protected areas of the importance of conservation and rhinos.

Ezemvelo has also strengthened its own internal controls to ensure that none of its staff members collude with poachers.

“We have put in place a number of interventions geared towards proactively making it more onerous on poachers and syndicates to prey on these beasts. This includes, but is not limited to, the de-horning of small populations of rhino and taking immediate action against any staff member that is suspected to be involved in poaching syndicates,” he said.