Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Anti-poaching finally prioritised after constant pressure from the FF Plus in Mpumalanga

Anti-poaching in nature reserves will now be given the attention it deserves by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

The relevant MEC, Ms Nomphu Hlophe, undertook in a meeting with the FF Plus to personally put pressure on the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) to ensure that the matter is dealt with.

Ms Hlophe also promised that extra funds will be earmarked for anti-poaching.

The FF Plus had pointed out the sharp rise in illegal poaching in the province’s state nature reserves in 2021 already. Various reserves, like the Songimvelo Nature Reserve, have basically been poached empty. The fences around many of these reserves are in a terrible condition, and local communities’ cattle graze in these protected areas.

The tragic incident in which a male leopard was recently caught in a snare in the Manyeleti Nature Reserve once again emphasised the importance of anti-poaching strategies. According to the Department’s latest financial budget for the coming year, no funds were earmarked for this.

Ms Hlophe also conceded that the private sector may assist government with anti-poaching programmes aimed at state nature reserves.

The Department will also see to it that the game fencing is urgently repaired.

The MEC confirmed that phase two of repairs to the fences around Songimvelo and Manyeleti will commence soon. Phase one was finalised long ago.

The FF Plus will closely monitor the process to ensure that all these promises are carried out. The party will also keep applying pressure and insist that awareness campaigns must be launched among the local communities around the nature reserves.

That is the only way to ensure that nature and game are conserved for future generations.



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