Ezemvelo Ceo Gives Mayibuye Thumbs Up
The new Mayibuye big five community game reserve which is being developed at Camperdown, halfway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, has been endorsed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bandile Mkhize.
The big five game reserve will see the re-introduction of free-roaming elephant to the area for the first time in 150 years. A residential component, including 3 luxury lodges, will add to the tourism appeal of the development.
Dr Mkhize explained; “The strength of this development lies in the link with BFG Retail (Business For Good), which is already ensuring an on-going source of jobs and income for the Mayibuye community. ..I foresee the Mayibuye and BFG model, becoming the blueprint for conservation & community upliftment in South Africa,” explained Dr Mkhize.
BFG is in the process of renovating an additional 2000m sq factory situated on the Mayibuye Game Reserve, as the first stage of its relocation to the project. This is forecast to be operational by September 2014 and by November 2015, BFG’s principle operation will have moved to Mayibuye. It is partnering the Mayibuye Community through an Equity Trust established by BFG ( 25% stake in BFG) and will see the creation of between 150 -200 new jobs by the same date. Mayibuye social upliftment projects are already operational with three crèches providing two meals per day to over 300 children. Mayibuye comprises land taken away from the residents in forced removals during the apartheid era and successfully claimed back through the Land Commission by the 445 displaced members of the Mayibuye Community Trust.
By October this year, the perimeter fencing will be in place and game introductions will follow, with giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu and other buck being the first species, followed by the big five. The reserve, which currently covers 4 650ha, will eventually stretch from Camperdown to Inanda Dam in the east and up to the Wartburg area in the north.
Dr Mkhize added; “We are considering dropping our fences where the 4 650 hectare Mayibuye reserve meets Ezemvelo reserves and we look forward to working with BFG and the Department of Environmental Affairs on this ground-breaking development.”