Fen­ce gets an ex­tra kick

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Graaff-reinet -

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

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