Media Release: KNP boosts fines for rule breakers
KNP Management today warned all road users and visitors that the long arm of the law will certainly act against anybody who is caught disregarding the rules and regulations of the two million hectare park during the Easter school holiday season.
KNP Protection Services personnel, together with South African Police Service (SAPS) members will be setting up vehicle stop and search points and conducting other “visible policing” tactics in an attempt to eradicate all forms of criminal activity in the KNP during this period.
Fines for misbehaving in the KNP have also been increased sharply by an average of 250% compared to the fines that were approved in 2004 in an attempt to keep rule-breakers in line with the Park’s rules and regulations.
“We would like to believe that most of our visitors do abide by the rules and regulations, however there are those road users who do choose to misbehave. Our warning is that if our Protection Services staff or Rangers catch you, they could issue you with a fine of considerable proportions,” said the KNP’s acting Managing Executive Mr Abe Sibiya.
The Admission of Guilt Fine List has been totally reworked from the previous one that was used. Various regulations have been either reworded or brought in line with the provisions of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 of 2003.
Anti-crime operation in line with national campaign
Aimed to tie in with the national “Arrive Alive” campaign, the anti-crime operation started on February 28, 2009 with the aim of ensuring a safe environment for visitors to the KNP with particular emphasis on the Southern half of the KNP, below the Olifants River, which experiences more tourism during this period. However, there will also be operations in the northern half of the KNP which will extend as far as the Shingwedzi/Punda Maria area.
Stop and search operations will be held on all the major roads in the KNP and law enforcement officers will be checking for stolen vehicles, unlicensed/unregistered firearms, entrance permits and drivers’ licences.
Cross border smuggling, illegal entry into South Africa and the monitoring of taxi movements to ensure that they have the necessary permits will be the particular emphasis of the operation north of the Olifants River. KNP traffic officials will also be on duty during that time and will concentrate on speeding and other traffic related offences. This anti crime operation will end on Sunday April 19, 2009.
“We ask visitors who witness any contravention of the KNP rules and regulations or who witness any suspicious activity that they should report the offender to the KNP’s Emergency Call Centre on (013) 735 4325 and the closest law enforcer will be alerted to the scene,” concluded Mr Sibiya.
Mr Sibiya also thanked those visitors who had reported misdemeanours to the Emergency Call Centre in the past, saying that many motorists had been fined as a result of reports from visitors. However, Mr Sibiya cautioned that members of the public who report criminal activity “after the fact” should be prepared to testify in Court.
The rules and regulations for the KNP are applicable to everyone, including visitors, contractors and staff members; although staff members do have certain restricted concessions (e.g. staff members may drive up to 65 km/h on tar roads).
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: email@example.com
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