Mayibuye Community trust calls for an end to poaching
The Chairperson of the Mayibuye Community Trust, Mr Welcome Mphanga, has called for an end urgent end to poaching to preserve the legacy of future generations.
Speaking on behalf of his community in the Camperdown area where the big five Mayibuye Community Game Reserve is currently under development, he explained; “Our people must learn to love animals, not just their cattle, goats and dogs at home, but game, which they need to realise is far more valuable for trading than cattle.”
“We have a big educational problem on our hands and we need government support to teach the community about the negative effects of poaching. If they poach, they are stealing from their children in future generations.”
He added; “There is a time and place for hunting, within the culling season, but it must be controlled and must be part of a culling programme. “
The urgent Mayibuye Community Trust plea to end poaching comes ahead of the introduction of the big five, including rhino and elephant to the Camperdown area by early 2015. This 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. 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.
‘Mayibuye,’ which means ‘bring back,’ 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.
Mphanga added: “The Mayibuye Community Game Reserve is a victory for our people. We have fought long and hard to reclaim our land and to come up with a way to make this land work for our community.”
“The claimants had the foresight to seek investment and job creation, rather than cash in return for their land. Our theme song has always been to find assistance in developing our land in order to fight poverty by creating jobs. …. and then one day, Thanda Aubrey Mngwenge and Zibuse Michael Mlaba, who are part of our Trust, met with retailer and philanthropist, Peter Kennedy and elephant whisperer, Lawrence Anthony … and the rest is a success story that could become a model for community game reserves in this country.”
“We have set up a ground-breaking interface between community upliftment, conservation and commerce. Our people have an on-going source of jobs and income and with the relocation of BFG Retail to Mayibuye, they will not have to travel to the city to work.”
The Mayibuye Community is partnering with BFG 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.
Factory staff from the Mayibuye community are currently working on manufacturing steel products, including an order for window frames and doors for 1 500 houses in Hluhluwe.
Mayibuye social upliftment projects are already operational with three crèches providing two meals per day to over 300 children.
“This project is our victory … one that will bring our people and future generations far more wealth than poaching ever could, ” concluded Mphanga.