Fence gets an extra kick
GRAAFF-REINET — Having a town in the middle of a national park can present a number of problems, from rubbish blowing into the park to poaching on the park verges.
But a consistent challenge to the Camdeboo National Park is the illegal removal of fences where the park shares a border in the Kroonvale and Spandaukop section.
After endless problems and tireless hours preventing the fence from being nabbed, park management has come up with a new plan.
Budgets for the park are limited, but hopes are that investing in electrifying fences in problem areas will have thieves thinking twice before pinching fencing material.
Theft has become such a big problem that environmental monitors and rangers have to take turns keeping a constant eye on the fences.
This means patrolling and guarding vulnerable areas 24 hours a day.
Management hopes to complete approximately 20km of the fence by the end of the year, according to Camdeboo National Park’s former manager Nick de Goede. “We want to electrify all the main fences and have already done 5km of the work,” he says. “We want to make it more dif¿cult for people to steal the fences and poles.”
Park management previously installed a section of marked fencing, measuring 1.8m high, at a hotspot on the eastern side of the park at Kroonvale/santa/asherville area.
As it is a different structure to fencing commonly found in the area, thoughts were it would be easier to identify when stolen and allow for speedier prosecution of culprits.
While the fencing has generally been left alone, the challenge continued as fencing poles were still stolen.
Camdeboo section ranger Johannes Jaantjies says the park had three incidents subsequent to the installation, with thieves making off with 20 poles in total. On the western side of the park in the Spandaukop area, 37 poles were stolen, but environmental monitors successfully apprehended and caught the perpetrator responsible.
The high rate of unemployment in the community is largely responsible for many incidences, says Jaantjies. “The Spandaukop perpetrator admitted to stealing poles to support his drug addiction.” - Sanparks Times