By Jacqueline Theologo (MPL), DA North West Tourism Spokesperson:
The Democratic Alliance in the North West is concerned with the Department of Tourism and Department of Rural, Environmental and Agricultural Development’s mismanagement which may result to the closure of the Molemane Eye Nature Reserve near Ottoshoop.
The Molemane Nature Reserve hosts a wide variety of wildlife and is rich in diverse natural resources. Regardless of this, the reserve has been crippled by the mismanagement of the Tourism Department.
There are no game viewing vehicles for tourists to drive around the reserve. The reserve is also severely understaffed which has led to low morale of staff.
The Department of Rural and Agricultural Development has removed 16 of the female buffalos from the farm leaving only males, this will hinder the breeding of these animals.
All the rhinos on the farm have also been removed and one zebra have been sold.
The reserve has not been informed about the reasons of this and there has not been any money to cover the removal of the animals.
The reserve cannot afford to close down as this will not only lead to job losses but also to a loss in revenue for tourism in the North West.
The Department of Rural Development is moving animals around the province without giving thought to the effects that this will have on the well-being of the wildlife animals and to the sustainability of the tourism industry.
The DA believes it is imperative for both the management of the nature reserve and Park Forum to be involved in the purchasing and removal of wildlife animals as it affects the profitability of their reserve instead of being dictated to by the Rural Development Department.
The DA will ask the Tourism MEC Desbo Mohono on how they plan to assist the reserve financially to prevent its closure. The DA will also write to the MEC for Rural Development Me Manketsi Tlhape demanding that all animals that were removed, be returned to the reserve.
It is important to sustain and reserve wildlife animals and to properly manage the tourism industry, this is not only vital at increasing revenue and creating jobs, but to ensure that future generations get to experience some of life’s beautiful creatures.