Conservation MEC must lead from the front in the fight against poaching in KZN

Radley Keys, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Conservation and Environmental Affairs

THE Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal is alarmed by provincial conservation MEC, Meshack Radebe’s apparent lack of involvement and input towards the fight against poaching of endangered species in our province.

The MEC’s absence from important portfolio committee meetings and his limited criticism of this scourge is extremely worrying. We would expect him to be far more vocal in his outrage and certainly a lot more proactive.

Yesterday, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife announced that it intended to clamp down on “rotten apples” within the system. This plan is long overdue – a bit like closing the gate when the horse has already bolted. Rhino poaching has been endemic in KZN since 2009. Since then, the DA in this province has been calling for urgent action. While officials have been dilly-dallying, sophisticated poaching syndicates have moved in.

The plan will also cost money. Yet there is currently no budget allocated for the fight against poaching in our province.

The DA expects the MEC to adopt a more proactive approach in the battle against the poaching of endangered species and to present a budget proposal for this exercise at the next provincial portfolio committee meeting. This massive oversight in terms of funding needs to be addressed urgently, while the MEC needs to start leading from the front.

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