Radley Keys, MPP
Democratic Alliance KZN Spokesperson on Conservation
A radical rethink is needed as to how R27 million – allocated to win the war against poaching in KwaZulu-Natal – is being spent.
Yesterday, media reports confirmed that a further seven rhino were killed in the province during the past two weeks. Four died in what forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, another on a private reserve in the KZN Midlands and a further two in a community reserve near Colenso.
The situation is beyond crisis level. Yet some R15 million – 55% of the total funding – is currently allocated to “Rhino Ambassadors” salaries.
If we are fighting a war then we must treat it as such.
Funds allocated to community awareness projects must be reduced and pumped into intelligence, training and artillery. Our field rangers are facing sophisticated syndicates armed with the latest weaponry. Failure to provide them with the necessary tools is setting them up for failure.