The patrolling of the two million hectare Kruger National Park (KNP) will from today ease a bit as the KNP’s Managing Executive, Mr Abe Sibiya handed over an Ultra-Light Bantam Aircraft to enhance rangers’ ability to deal with rhino poaching as well as accepted R1 374 327 rand worth of donated equipment on behalf of the park’s Ranger Corps from the SANParks Honorary Rangers.
“The Bantam and other equipment will considerably enhance the effectiveness of the Ranger corp. by providing them with tools to patrol over larger areas. Our anti poaching teams can no longer only patrol on foot, bicycles, motorbikes or vehicles; but must be able to conduct aerial patrols armed with sophisticated field equipment in the huge areas under their responsibility day and night,” said Mr Sibiya during his speech at the handover event at Shingwedzi.
In the five months of this year alone, the rhino poached in South Africa had already exceeded 235. Mr Sibiya said there is no secret that as a country, the fight against poaching is ever present and continues today with an intensity that has never been seen before.
“We continue to find well-equipped poachers that aim to illegally capitalize on the Park’s natural heritage. I therefore would like to encourage not only the entire Ranger Corps team to continue with their efforts of fighting the rhino poaching scourge; but all of us as citizens of the country to rally behind them as the eyes and ears of the world are on us”.
The SANParks Honorary Rangers from various regions not only donated equipment worth more than a million rand, but they also donated the equipment inside the hangar and contributed to the operational cost of the Bantam to the value of R100 000.
Equipment included torches, night vision goggles, thermal binoculars and scope mounts; which will all be used during patrols and other vital anti poaching work in the KNP.
KNP aircraft donation
KNP Managing Executive, Mr Abe Sibiya formally hands over the Ultra-Light Bantam Aircraft to Shingwedzi Section Ranger, Marius Renke
Night vision equipment donation
Mr Sibiya formally accepts the night vision equipment from Mr John Turner, the SANParks Honorary Rangers’ Ranger Support Services Chairman. The equipment formed part of a donation worth R1 374 327 that was handed over to the KNP Rangers today.
From left – Mr Abe Sibiya, Mr John Turner, Mr Chris Herbst – Honorary Ranger from Pretoria Region who donated R48 000 from his family business towards the Bantam maintenance, Mr Marius Renke and Mr Ben van Eeden, Regional General Manager: Nxanatseni Region, KNP
Mr Abe Sibiya and Mr Marius Renke test-out the handed-over Bantam.
Rangers with donated equipment
Middle Mr Albert Machaba, Regional Ranger: Nxanatseni North and Mr Stephen Midzi, Vlakteplaas Section Ranger try-out the donated equipment from Honorary Rangers. With them are Mr John Turner and Mr Abe Sibiya.
Public Relations Division, Kruger National Park