Conservation-led experiential travel company &Beyond recently received a donation of R1.2-million towards the safety of rhino at the Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.
iafrica.com reports that, an independent organisation, StopRhinoPoaching.com coordinated the fundraising dedicated to raise support for the fight against poaching. The funds will be utilised to strengthen anti poaching and to allow the security unity of the game reserve to hire about 30 more armed guards.
Although the extra guards will complement the current security force in place, the funds will be used to cover training, uniforms and equipment for the new personnel whereas the guards’ wages are sponsored by South African National Parks (SANParks) as part of their Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
Government has allocated a whopping R141 million to the EPWP in three years and the initiative has been rolled out beyond the country’s national parks, with &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve the second private game reserve chosen to take part.
“We already have a solid relationship with the people surrounding our reserve thanks to the work that we do with our community development partner, Africa Foundation. We are delighted that we can further support our core ethic of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People, by boosting job creation and increasing skills development in the area, while also ensuring the safety of our land and wildlife,” said Simon Naylor, Conservation Manager at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve.
However, the Nyathi APU has an outstanding track record of pro-active successes, as well as a close relationship with law enforcement bodies in the area. In a recent joint operation with the SAPS, three suspected rhino poachers were arrested in the town of Jozini, just north of &Beyond Phinda this month.
“We are very grateful to have been chosen as a partner by SANParks and our other generous donors and believe that this is thanks to &Beyond’s genuine focus on and dedication to the preservation of wildlife. The funding we have received will allow us to do even more to further our rhino conservation, security and community development,” concluded Naylor.