MEC must explain questionable game breeding deal

By SP Motsenyane (MPL), DA North West Spokesperson for Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development:

The North West Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development MEC, Manketsi Tlhape must explain why protected wild species are allegedly moved from Provincial Game Reserves to a private game farm for a 10-year breeding programme.

According to the DA’s information 130 buffalos, 15 nyala’s, 50 sable antelope and 50 white rhinos are allegedly being removed from the Pilanesberg, Madikwe, Mafikeng, Botsalano, Molemane and Borakolala Game Reserves.

It is also understood that the animals are to be held in private hands at two undisclosed locations as breeding stock.

It is further alleged that the animals relocated from provincial game reserves will be returned after the 10-year period, but that their offspring will remain in private hands.

These allegations, should they prove to be true, are extremely serious, as provincial game reserves and the animals in them are state assets that may not be removed without proper authorisation.

Furthermore, if the department entered into a public/private partnership to increase animal populations, no mention was made in the portfolio committee, nor does it appear on the department’s Annual Performance Plan.

The DA demands to know who benefits from this deal -considering that millions in potential government revenue will be lost out of the sale of the offspring over 10 years. This is money that could be utilize to improve the plight of the poorest of the poor.

The DA will submit written questions to MEC Tlhape demanding a full disclosure of the details of this deal, and explain why government assets are being used to enrich private individuals.

The DA will ensure to keep the North West government to account when they deal with not only rare species, but also with tax payer’s money.