In a handover ceremony held at its Johannesburg head office today, conservation-led experiential travel company &Beyondreceived a donation of ZAR 1.2 million towards the protection of rhino at its Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.
With fundraising coordinated by StopRhinoPoaching.com, an independent web-based organisation dedicated to raising support for the war against rhino poaching, the money will allow Phinda’s contracted anti-poaching unit, Nyathi APU Security, to employ 30 additional armed guards. These extra guards will supplement the current security force in place. While the funds will be used to cover training, uniforms and equipment for the new personnel, the guards’ wages are sponsored by South African National Parks (SANParks) as part of their Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
Aimed at providing poverty relief through projects that create new jobs while serving a socially useful purpose, the EPWP is funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and implemented by SANParks. With ZAR 141 million dedicated to the EPWP over three years by the government, the initiative has been rolled out beyond the country’s national parks, with &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve the second private game reserve selected to take part.
While the main function of the armed securityguards will be to assist in the reserve’s anti-poaching efforts, they will also take part in community engagement activities aimed at raising conservation awareness throughout areas neighbouring the reserve. More....