The announcement by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife that it will employ 300 more rhino ambassadors and pay them a stipend of R2000 a month has been hailed.
KwaZulu-Natal agriculture and environmental affairs MEC Meshack Radebe said even though the money was not much, the initiative still needed to be supported because it would help poor rural families.
“I’m very excited and thrilled and at the same time very humbled that out of the frustration of rhinos being brutally slaughtered we can come up with a positive response and initiative under Ezemvelo.
“This complements our 28000 job creation strategy under the extended public works programme launched last year,” said Radebe.
He added that while creating a further 300 jobs did not sound like much, if the fact of widespread poverty in rural areas was taken into consideration the monthly R2000 stipend could go a long way towards alleviating poverty.
“We have made it very clear that rhino poaching has to involve people on the ground, especially in rural areas around our parks in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
“I’m sure that these ambassadors will make a huge difference in curbing the scourge, but more importantly in educating their communities about the importance of saving the rhino,” he added.