Parts of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State are currently being occupied by illegal land occupants who are, according to reports, keeping more than 1 458 sheep and 57 dogs.
This is extremely alarming seeing as it endangers the Park's wildlife.
Parts of the Park are used as pasture for the occupants' livestock. The dogs are hunting the game and there are reports of game being brutally mauled. There are reportedly no oribis left in the Park due to the dogs.
The FF Plus sent an official letter to the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy, requesting that her department must intervene to ensure that issues such as access control and fencing are prioritised.
Stricter access control must be enforced at the Park's access points, because there are reportedly no guards at the gates and there are also no fences around certain parts of the Park.
The Park's biodiversity and wild animals can only be protected if well-guarded fences are erected and properly maintained.
The FF Plus also requested that Creecy must approach the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Development to help the land occupants find alternative pasture.
The illegal occupation of land in national parks creates a dangerous precedent, which poses a serious threat to all South Africa's parks and it must not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Apparently, the ANC government does not deem it important to protect national parks, which creates a dangerous situation where natural resources will not be protected and conserved for the generations to come.