Media Release: SANParks gets 30 new armed field rangers
South African National Parks (SANParks) has 30 new Armed Field Rangers after a passing-out parade held on Friday 23 November 2012 at Weltrac Training Centre situated in the Welgevonden Game Reserve. The 30 graduates are part of SANParks' Environmental Monitors from Kgalagadi, Mokala, Addo Elephant and Kruger National Parks. They completed a six week Armed Ranger course which is part of the Expanded Public Works Programme.
Antionet van Wyk, SANParks General Manager: Infrastructure & Special Projects, Parks Division said “the main reason for training the Field Rangers is to complement the parks existing staff for area integrity management in various national parks. They will be a support to conservation staff and perform duties that will enable SANParks field rangers to attend to critical functions such as law enforcement.” The programme which started in 2011 creates jobs for unemployed people from communities bordering national parks whilst SANParks is gaining additional capacity to assist with vital conservation activities within these parks.
The keynote address was given by Johan Kruger, Technical Manager Kgalagadi National Park. He said “we are very proud of our new graduates and their eagerness to build on their skills portfolio. We encourage them to be the change that they want to see in our country’s heritage, the National Parks.”
The rangers in Kgalagadi National Park will be guarding the Biodiversity Social Project teams from dangerous animals. They will further assist in guarding tourists at the bush camps from dangerous animals. In Mokala National Park eight of the rangers will be deployed by the Park to assist the existing Field Ranger corps in their day to day patrolling responsibilities. This includes Rhino monitoring posts. The other four will be used to guard Biodiversity Social Project teams from dangerous animals.
The KNP rangers of which 4 are female will be deployed under Scientific Services to assist with monitoring activities related to vegetation and animals. They will also be used as field guards to protect scientists, on their excursions, from dangerous animals. Finally in Addo Elephant National Park the rangers will be used to guard Biodiversity Social Project teams and assist in manning Rhino observation posts.
“The passing-out of these 30 Armed Field Rangers will step up the crime fighting ability against poachers and give invaluable support to the men and women working on the ground,” said Van Wyk.
SANParks, Manager: Media and Stakeholder Relations.
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