Media alert and statement by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube
17 May 2020
Durban: This morning, I received a report from our entity Ezemvelo Wildlife that a Lion was killed by a farmer in Dundee near Nquthu.
Although, I am still awaiting a full report, I can confirm that this Lion has been terrorising the community and killing the livestock since February this year.
The search for this animal has been ongoing for months and killing it has been the last option.
Rural communities already under a huge yoke of poverty have had to bear the brunt of this Lion which wiped away any possible reserves they have as the livestock is part of the economy of rural people.
The seriousness of this matter prompted the department, through Ezemvelo Wildlife to conduct an investigation to determine whether it was necessary to issue a permit to take out the predator.
A permit for depredation purpose was issued to the local farmer whose livestock was also attacked by the Lion. It is the same farmer who killed the Lion this morning as it posed a danger to the community and livestock.
Once again, I wish to assure the farming community, traditional leaders, leaders of society and local communities that their safety and the protection of their livestock is our major priority. We are encouraged by their co-operation.
We value the support from the members Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental affairs. They continue to guide the department on matters of conservation.
As the department we believe that nature conservation is critical in order to provide us with yet another avenue to confront the challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality created by COVID-19.
We wish to report that the staff from Ezemvelo together with Peace Parks Foundation and the National Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries are working hard to install a number of technologies in the Hluhluwe – iMfolozi Park.
This has been part of a long-term strategy aimed at protecting wild animals.
Regarding dealing with poaching, we have decided to invest in Smart Park connectivity and the integration of systems to ensure early detection and rapid response.
One of the key instruments being used is the installation of infrared trap cameras linked directly to the Parks Operational Centre.
These cameras using artificial intelligence (AI) identify people and send an immediate alert to the Operations Centre who then rapidly alerts and activates the relevant Reaction Units and associated resources.
Issued by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube
Ndabezinhle Sibiya on 082 375 4742
Musa Mntambo – KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife on 083 2849586
Nathi Olifant on 060 970 5113