By Langa Bodlani MPL, DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Environment:
Conservation systems and other safety measures to protect animals in Limpopo state owned game reserves are failing. The result is that our provincial heritage is under threat from poachers.
This is according the reply to a DA question from the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism.
The department’s reply reveals that Limpopo had at least 418 known poaching cases but only 113 successful arrests were made in the last three years.
Of concern for the DA is the number of field rangers who patrol our game reserves. An example is the D’Nyala Nature Reserve which employs a mere 6 field rangers and lost 2 rhinos in 2013.
Limpopo’s parks lost 14 rhinos to poachers over 3 years with Atherstone and Nwanedi Nature Reserves and Letaba Ranch being the hardest hit.
The value of animals lost to poachers in provincial reserves during 2012/13 & 2014 is conservatively estimated at a staggering R25 million.
The DA will table a motion at the next sitting calling for MEC for LEDET Seaparo Sekoati to tighten measures to protect our game.
The conservation of our animals must be prioritized to enhance international tourism which will stimulate job creation as well as to conserve our natural heritage for generations to come.