Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

FF Plus asks for awareness campaigns in Mpumalanga to curb game poaching

After continued pressure from the FF Plus in Mpumalanga, the MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Ms Nompumelelo Hlope, agreed to launch anti-poaching campaigns.

These will be aimed at the communities around provincial game reserves.

The FF Plus welcomes the initiative to erect a new game fence in the Numbi region. The fence is meant to stop elephants from escaping from the Kruger National Park and gaining access to the surrounding local communities.

The decision to erect a new fence follows a thorough assessment conducted by SANparks and the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency. Construction will commence in April.

In a recent incident, a local community hunted and finally killed a rogue elephant that had escaped from the game reserve. The community then chopped up the carcass with pangas for their consumption.

The FF Plus also viewed footage of various other incidents where members of this community killed, among others, leopards and even a cheetah, after the animals had escaped from local game reserves through holes in the fence, and then proceeded to chop up the meat.

The main concern is that the fences are deliberately being cut or damaged so that the game will escape and be hunted and killed.

It is imperative to provide the neighbouring communities with some form of training through awareness campaigns about how tourism can benefit them, and how cutting fences and poaching in game reserves are detrimental to future job creation.

These campaigns should focus on highlighting how tourism contributed to the social, cultural, political and economic value of Mpumalanga by showing what the sector has to offer from a rural development perspective.

Implementing sustainable practices and involving local communities will create a model to facilitate economic growth, protect biodiversity and improve the wellbeing of the rural population.



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