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Media Release: Historical collaboration brings hope to rhino plight

28 October 2013

Amidst the growing concerns surrounding fundraising schemes exploiting the current heightened rhino awareness, the ‘Adopt So Our Rhinos Don’t Die’ historical campaign is the first to bear the official SANParks Fundraising Seal, which ensures peace-of-mind that all funding will go directly to rhino anti-poaching activities. 

SANParks CEO, Dr David Mabunda, said,  “As the custodian and sanctuary for the majority of Africa’s rhino population, and 91% of the world rhino population, it is distressing to report that with the exception for the Honorary Rangers’ initiatives during 2012, SANParks has not received a cent from independent rhino fundraisers this year. We are in a crisis situation that requires funding for expert human and technical resources. 

“This historical joint collaboration brings hope to the crisis. All money will be held in a ring-fenced trust fund that is managed by Rand Merchant Bank under the audit of the National Treasury. The trust fund will also be made available to any rhino conservancy that applies for assistance to ensure that we are able to help as many rhino as possible”.  

Ms Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, endorsed the Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die campaign by saying, “It is an honour and privilege standing here on the brink of history, but I am filled with mixed emotions. I am filled with extreme sadness based on my knowledge of the carnage we are currently facing with the senseless slaughtering of our rhino, and the fact that we have lost over 500 rhino to illegal poaching since 1 January 2013, more than the days in the year.  On the other hand, I brim with jubilation to know that help is at hand and that at last South Africans across the land will unite and stand together to make a difference, and protect the world’s natural heritage for generations to come”. 

With a 300 year family legacy that is immersed in preserving heritage, Bavaria 0.0% is more than just a brewery and has shown its commitment to ensuring that the rhino is preserved for future generations by being the enabler of the Adopt So Our Rhinos Don’t Die campaign. This decision falls directly in line with Bavaria’s intrinsic value of 0.0% tolerance to rhino poaching, the illegal killing of any wildlife or humankind and to drinking and driving. The partnership also sees a decision by SANParks to clamp down on irresponsible alcohol-induced behaviour in its Parks. 

Stijn Swinkels, Family Board Member of Bavaria Brewery, commented, “Brewing is in my blood. My whole family grew up with it, but why should our sense of responsibility stop there? The plight of the rhino really touched me. This is about keeping your identity and national pride alive. It is about future existance. If we can deploy something as simple as our product’s reach and accessibility to make people stop and think about this, then I want to stand up for that. 

“Hopefully our children will take over the brewery and therefore I understand how important it is to fight for survival. I hope that later our children will brew with the same passion, while at the same time realising that what they are holding in their hands is more than a malt drink and that outside of the brewery we can also make a difference”. 

Bavaria 0.0% has extended the reach of the campaign into South Africa’s Big 5 leading retail chains and as front-runners to the consumer, each retailer will create the adoption ‘route’ for the public. From every purchase of any six-pack of Bavaria regular or fruit flavoured malt drinks, both the Big 5 retailers and Bavaria will match a massive margin sacrifice to fund the consumer’s adoption certificate cost and this money will go directly into the SANParks ring-fenced rhino fund.

Swinkels adds, “We were so touched by the rhino plight, that the cause became greater than our risk to enter a new market and sacrifice our profit margin. We would like to thank the Big 5 retailers for joining us in this collaboration in aid of the rhino, who is the real hero.”

Ivan Oertle, Woolworths Specialist Buyer, commented, “We at Woolworths have always believed in doing the right thing and in this case it is collaborating with Bavaria, SANParks and our competitors to bring hope to the world’s last remaining wild rhino population. We urge our customers to support the Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die initiative. Never before has saving the rhino been done in a way that is so easy, such fun and so safe, as this the first campaign carrying the official SANParks Seal of Approval for a ring fenced fund”. 

Mark Robinson, Group Liquor Manager, The Spar Group Ltd, said, “On behalf of the SPAR Group Ltd I would like to applaud SANParks, Dr David Mabunda and of course Bavaria 0.0% for what is undoubtedly and hopefully an initiative which will go a long way in protecting one of our country’s very rare and threatened assets and a part of our heritage. Hopefully this will make a meaningful contribution to the protection of our rhino and we thank you for including us in this initiative”.

“This is a fantastic initiative by Bavaria 0.0%. We are pleased to join other retailers in assisting SANParks to make a difference in the fight against rhino poaching,” added Jonathan Koff Makro Liquor Executive, Massmart.

Dr Mabunda, concluded, “I believe that the ‘Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die’ campaign will ignite the nation, and the world, into a cohesive drive to adopt and protect the rhino against poaching. Bavaria’s contribution towards funding the consumers’ rhino adoption cost will lead the way in providing the much needed funding in our crusade against illegal poaching and wildlife trade”. 

Bavaria & SANParks Launch
Stijn Swinkels, Family Board Member of Bavaria Brewery and Dr David Mabunda, CEO of SANParks, celebrate the launch of the Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die campaign with the first rhino adoption by Bavaria 0.0%.

Issued by:    
Lee Jarrett
Tel: 031-202-8401; Cell: 082-920-2142

South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170 

Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks Acting Head of Communications
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999


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