By Sihle Mavuso
Ethekwini municipality mayor James Nxumalo has joined the growing chorus for greater efforts to save the endangered rhino population.
Nxumalo said for children and the public at large to understand the importance of rhinos to the country, there was a need for environmental studies to be taught at schools.
He said the battle against rhino poaching was a global fight.
The mayor was speaking in Durban on Saturday evening at the Ezemvelo Cup awards ceremony, where the wildlife entity gave out awards to several teams that took part in the annual Ezemvelo Football/Netball Cup.
In this cup, several “chiefdoms” formed teams to compete in soccer and netball in order to mobilise communities living adjacent to game reserves to join the fight against poaching, especially rhino poaching.
“Let us take the issue of rhino poaching to schools and teach our children the importance of saving the rhino and the environment.
“Rhino poaching is a global issue; everywhere you go, people are talking about it,” said Nxumalo.
Ezemvelo’s CEO, Bandile Mkhize, supported the call. He said his organisation had already started environmental education by introducing the Sifundimvelo Programme to children. In this programme, Ezemvelo takes pupils to camps in game reserves and teaches them the importance of nature conservation.
“We support this call wholeheartedly. Our support is shown in our initiative called Sifindumvelo and we would like to see it expanding,” said Mkhize.
At the awards ceremony, the soccer category was won by Mhlana Zebras from the South Coast while the netball champion’s trophy went to Mpukunyoni Bush Bucks of Empangeni.