BOEREMARK Next Market on 1 Dec 2018 @ BOSVELD CENTRE 2.2KM out of town on R40
The paper that encourages dreams, supports people and builds the community! Vol 17 Issue 02, 23 November 2018, Kruger2Canyon News, Shop 12, Kamogelo Centre, Hoedspruit. Tel 015 793 2617 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 poachers stopped Blyde Dam dead in their tracks water levels HOEDSPRUIT - A strong message was sent out when three suspected poachers were apprehended on November 13 in Balule. The success of the operation, which played out over more than 15 hours and involved tracking the poachers over 43 km, was primarily due to great team work
and good coordination between the Balule operations room, regional wardens, rangers, aerial support from two fixed wing aircraftw and a gyro helicopter, as well as the help from the SAAF Oryx helicopter, and the assistance of Hoedspruit Plaaswag. The success was all the greater because no rhino was killed.
Brass Brassett HOEDSPRUIT – On November 19 2018 the Blyde Dam level was reported by Jurie Van Vuuren of the Blyde Water Users’ Association to be on 48,5% with an inlet of 1.3 cumec and outlet of 4.2 cumec. These figures include the pipeline and sluice usages. Jurie wrote: Today the water will be reduced to 0.4litre/second (normal consumer flow). ‘With no rainfall predicted there is ap-
proximately 7 weeks of water still available before the commencement of serious pressure problems in the pipeline,’ he stated. ‘The Blyde Dam will then be at a 30% water level.’ ‘Predictions for rain seem favourable for late November and the beginning of December. However we need to please conserve water in any possible way; if we work together as a community we should make it through this challenging time,’ Jurie ended
K9 Annie seen here, looking very proud of herself after successfully tracking down three poachers. This photograph was taken by Tom van der Meulen on 15 November The operation took more than 12 hours nonstop through the night on November 12/13, and covered 2018, showing the current water level of the Blyde Dam. more than 43 km on Balule Nature Reserve.
one it’s a
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23 November 2018 Kruger2Canyon
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17 years later, the K2C journey continues… HOEDSPRUIT – It has been an incredible journey this far, with so many, many contributing friends, family, and strangers who became friends along the way. When we started Kruger2Canyon the town was still a little village. Kamogelo Tourism Centre was
a far-fetched vision, and the first Mall (Leadwood) had just been built. Raptors View was brand new and the first wildlife estate to open in the area, and consisted of only the old farm house and the newly opened Southern Cross School. Le Bamba is one of the few features that hasn’t changed all that much.
As we look back on the years gone by, we will share snippets of history as it has been captured in the pages of the Kruger2Canyon over the years. Below is the first letter, in the very first Kruger2Canyon, and not much has changed. The exhilarating experience continues…. Thank you for your support, you make it possible!
‘It’s been a fascinating, rewarding, nail biting, exhilarating experience to finally get the first issue of the Kruger2Canyon out on the street (the only street). The idea came to us in September 2001 and we have been constantly supported by many people in the greater Hoedspruit area and
even further afield. Thank you for the much appreciated confidence, support and wonderful encouragement we have received from all. We hope you enjoy reading the first issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. It is our wish that this paper will truly become a vehicle through
which the community will serve and be served. As it is a community newspaper your opinion, inputs, comments and general participation are vital to its success and always welcome. Please contact us with any news, stories, or interesting happenings.’
Heidi Lee Smith
From the editorial team 29/11/2002 Vol 1 issue1
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23 November 2018 Kruger2Canyon
A good book launch Cats make base camp
David Bristow at the launch of his new book in Hoedspruit. Copies are available at Hoedspruitinfo, Kamogelo Centre.
Kerstin Nyberg Peart
HOEDSPRUIT - Meeting in real life the author of a book you’ve enjoyed reading is a rare treat. David Bristow, author of 30 books and former editor of Getaway travel magazine, came to Hoedspruit to launch his most recent book, The Game Ranger, the Knife, the Lion and the Sheep, at the iNyoka Gallery last Saturday. David grew up in the veld north of Johannesburg and studied both journalism and environmental sciences, and worked for a year as ranger and camp manager in the Okavango Delta. He has spent most of his working life as nature and travel photojournalist in Africa, but in recent years writing narrative nonfiction books has
taken over. David said that telling stories was what he always wanted to do, and the idea for a book came to him a few years ago: ‘in the end the story found me’. His most recent book has come together from multiple sources, and he took his audience through the various, extremely unique sources he used when researching the characters. For those of us who had already read the book, the talk provided fascinating insights; for those who still have this pleasure to look forward to, a tantalising foretaste. At any good book launch there is an opportunity to buy your own copy of the book, signed by the author, and at the end of the talk the happy audience queued up for their copies.
Umlani wins again Marco Schiess
TIMBAVATI - We were once again very pleased to receive an SA Tourism National Win-
ner Lilizela Award for service excellence in the Three Star Game Lodge category. We won this award now for the fifth time. The Lilizela
Awards have been going for six years; we missed one year in 2014 when there were no winners in this category, but were a runner up for economic impact that year. To be in the competition, you need to enter the Lilizela awards and you will then compete with others who enter that year in your category provincially. The winners from the different provinces then compete for the National Award. It’s always a wonderful boost to the Umlani team’s moral to win this award. It also gives us a nice marketing advantage. Thank you to the judges and SA Tourism for this great honour. It is always lovely to attend the award ceremony, and it really gives you a sense of pride in South Africa. It’s wonderful to see all of us South Africans who work in tourism, getting on well with making this country work without any negativity, or political hype or differences. Seeing the mix of South Africans in the tourism industry all happily together, it dawns on you that the man or woman in the street just wants to get along, live and thrive in a fair, safe and happy environment. Our greatest obstacle to achieving this South African utopia at the moment throughout all industry sectors is sinister political agendas that do not have the ordinary people’s wellbeing at heart.
BREAKING NEWS: Three passionate, crazy, wildlife lovers have made it to Mount Everest Base Camp wearing massive ‘cat suits’. The Trek for Big Cats team includes Gareth James Legg (founder, expedition team leader; the lion), Tracey Bruton (cofounder; the leopard) and Lucas Svoboda (cameraman and the tiger in the team).
MOUNT EVEREST - After almost a year of planning and a lot of dedication and passion, the Trek for Big Cats team has achieved their goal of reaching Everest Base Camp. The team had to muster up every ounce of energy, one paw at a time, with many factors making the challenge even tougher - high altitude, dust, thin air, fatigue and the mascots being rather cumbersome on the challenging rocky Base Camp trail - all added to their plight for cats. ‘Our expedition however was a huge success, and we had a phenomenal response on the trail with trekkers and locals, as well as with local Nepalese news and media, said founder of Trek for Big Cats,’ Gareth Legg. The struggles and hardships that the team experienced getting to Everest Base Camp paint an interesting analogy with the daily struggle that the world’s big cats go through to survive in their natural environments and in captivity. Many factors are threatening the world’s big cats. These include habitat loss, humananimal conflict, trophy hunting, canned hunting, captive breeding and the bone and body part trade, to name a few. ‘We are hoping that our expedition will inspire people around the world to stand up for the plight of the big cats and their environments to ensure that they remain living for many generations to come,’ the team said. Trek for Big Cats would like
to present solutions to ordinary people on how to assist with our cause; for instance not taking part in pay-to-pet facilities or selfies with big cats, ‘canned’ hunting or trophy hunting, buying big cat body part souvenirs, or using traditional Chinese medicine or foods that contain big cat body parts. We would also like to say a very big thank you to Mohan Lamsal from Makalu Adventures, our Everest Base Camp tour operator, for hosting and organising our expedition. We are also very appreciative of
our other collaborators and supporters, including the Born Free Foundation, Blood Lions, Youth for Lions, International Campaign against Canned Hunting, Friends for Free Wildlife, Himalayan Trust Nepal, The Humble Company, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Foundation, the International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme and numerous media houses that have published our stories and fundraising adverts, including Kruger2Canyon News all the way back in Hoedspruit, the heart of Big 5 country.
23 November 2018 Kruger2Canyon
Kudu Awards honour K9’s Fighting poverty on different terms Author: Jan Vermeulen
Mambas and K9’s Craig Spencer
GREATER KRUGER What do Black Mambas and K9’s have in common? Not much when we are talking about snakes, but a lot when we are talking about the allfemale anti-poaching unit! Qolile Mathebula was the first Black Mamba to follow a six month K9 dog handling training course in Johannesburg provided by the Endangered Wildlife Trust. She was extensively trained in a range of subjects such as handling various breeds of dogs, management of kennels, animal welfare, man-tracking for antipoaching purposes and detection of wildlife products, ammunition and weapons. The Black Mambas have formed a partnership with HESC (Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center), to assist with their wildlife security needs. Qolile now works with her team of Mambas and dog Zee, a Belgium Malenois, at HESC, and patrols daily with the K9’s. After the initial success of the
partnership with HESC, a further ten Mambas have been selected to participate in the K9 Dog Handlers Course, through our partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust. We were so proud to get the news, that all of the selected Mambas have passed with over 90% in their initial exams!! Patrolling with a K9 dog has many benefits. Since the Black Mambas are unarmed, the dog will serve as extra protection whilst on foot as the dogs will be able to warn the Mambas in advance if dangerous wildlife is close by. Trained dogs are also a great tool in a conservationist’s tool box, thanks to their ability to assist with tracking of humans as well as detection of illegal wildlife products and firearms. But an often overlooked benefit of working with dogs is that it strengthens the bond between handlers and the working dogs in their care. This will help to develop a sense of empathy towards wildlife through domesticated animals. The Black Mambas come from communities around Ba-
lule Nature Reserve where life for both humans and domesticated animals is often hard. Animals in traditional communities are considered more as conveniences, or tools. They carry wood, pull carts, provide security, or some other function. Therefore, it would be hard to expect someone from an impoverished community to have an empathy for wild animals. Through the Black Mamba partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Mambas learn that animals have needs, form social bonds and feel stress. Black Mambas spend time in their communities and interact with the children through the Bush Babies Program, where these same lessons are taught by the qualified K9 handlers. We are confident that the Black Mambas will complete their training very successfully and gain skills that are useful both inside and outside the reserve. We are looking forward to having the Mambas patrolling on Balule Nature Reserve with their new best friends!
GREATER KRUGER - The Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC’s) K9 Unit won a prestigious Kudu Award at a gala event at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Gauteng on 16 November. They shared this honour with the Meerkat Project, a high tech surveillance operation in the Kruger National Park. Both projects were recognised for their innovation and results in countering poaching. Since February 2018, the College’s K9 Unit has been involved in more than 70 deployments in the Greater Kruger National Park where 61 poacher arrests have been made and 25 rifles have been pulled out of the system. The K9 unit reached new heights this year with the addition of 20 free-running pack hounds from Texas, USA. The pack dogs successfully apprehended their first suspects in collaboration with SANParks within days of their arrival on South African soil, immediately proving highly effective in live operations. The Kudu Awards have been developed as a way for the management of SANParks to thank external stakeholders for their contributions to conservation, understanding that it will always be a collaborative effort.
Kerstin Nyberg Peart BUSHBUCKRIDGE When Jan Vermeulen arrived in Bushbuckridge for the first time in the early 1990s, all he saw was darkness. There was no electricity, and the telephone system was a relic from days gone by. He had been sent to look into ways of alleviating poverty and unemployment, and intended to stay for a week or two. With the exception of a few years in Tzaneen, he’s never left. Jan gave up his life in Johannesburg and made the fight against poverty his calling. In early 1993 Jan Vermeulen relocated to the area full time, being based first at the Nazarene Mission in Arthur’s Seat. From this position he could get properly involved and see the real problems, and discover what he was up against in his work towards poverty alleviation. Jan set up a variety of enterprises, from organic gardening, poultry farming, tourism enterprises to commercial vegetable production, all to limited avail. Misconceptions about roles and responsibilities, interference from powerful role players and the general problem of entitlement put spokes in the wheels. The fragmented support available for economic development did not make the enormous task any easier. With his book Fighting Poverty in South Africa, Jan wants to empower communities through building a better understanding of their own assets and capabilities, and help them to take matters into their own hands. He also reaches out to municipalities, NGOs and the private sector with new ideas for their practices and policies. His message is to consider quality of life as
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opposed to approaching poverty in purely financial terms. The main challenge is to counteract consumerism and crass materialism; to question the reigning economic system and not measure success by material wealth (radical economic transformation). Unfortunately, most people have only the one viewpoint, entrenched by constant bombardment with consumerist media messages. The solution which Jan offers in his book is what he refers to as village economic development; to refrain from imposing external systems and values, and to avoid the ‘grab and amass’ mentality of capitalism. Village economic development will empower people to do it for themselves, and not be steered by outside forces. The communities themselves need to get organised, to set the agenda and use what is available. The money coming in through social grants needs to benefit the community, and not be sucked back out through commercial organisations. A new mall may provide instant jobs, but most of the profits go back to big business in Johannesburg. Instead the money should be spent on local enterprises such as co-operatives, which build future wealth and empowerment. According to Jan, the money coming in as social grants to Bushbuckridge alone would be sufficient to run 65 community co-operatives, each with a market potential of R3 million per month. Jan is aware that this possibility can’t be switched on overnight and needs focussed support. All stakeholders need to sing from the same hymn sheet. A poverty fighting army needs to be established with specialised support areas; conscription would provide young people with opportunities to acquire valuable skills and experience that could stand them in good stead in searching for employment. We should have learnt from colonial history not to impose our system on others. Development in Africa was short circuited through colonialism, as communities in Africa could not be equated with a Europe where the industrial revolution was already well underway. Jan is optimistic about the future: village economic development is an evolutionary process, and he believes that the people who look back in a 100 years’ time will regard these days as dark ages and wonder “what did those poor idiots do to each other”.
23 November 2018 Kruger2Canyon
23 November 2018 Kruger2Canyon
Touching lives in South Africa
HOEDSPRUIT - Christmas came early to two Hoedspruitbased organisations as The Perfect World Foundation came to town! Based in Sweden, The Perfect World Foundation was founded by Ragnhild & Lars Jacobsson with the ambition to raise awareness to help animals and nature areas in crisis worldwide. ‘It is our aim to educate, to raise awareness and to help everyone take one step at a time in a sustainable direction,’ said Ragnhild. Since 2014, Campfire Academy’s Brass Brassett has been an Ambassador for The Perfect World Foundation and advises the Foundation of local organisations that are in need of assistance. Over this time donations have been made to Protrack
Anti-Poaching Unit, Elephants Alive, Black Mamba AntiPoaching Unit, Bush Babies Environmental Education and Hoedspruit AnimaL Outreach. Coinciding with a visit to Campfire Academy, w, was able to make two donations in person. ‘Brass always comes up with very creative ways to surprise our donor recipients so I was very excited to see what she had planned.” The first recipient was the Bush Babies Environmental Education programme, a programme conducted at schools surrounding Balule Nature Reserve, creating environmentally literate communities. After helping the Bush Babies at Maseke Primary School with their vegetable garden, Matilda ‘interviewed’ the programme’s instructor, Lewyn
Maefala, who was prompted to talk about how if you look after nature, nature will give back to you, illustrating the point by pulling-up a beetroot plant... what Lewyn didn’t know was that a ‘mini’ cheque had been pinned to the roots! ‘When I pulled up the plant and saw the tag, I first thought it was a price tag,’ said Lewyn, but I knew it couldn’t be! So, I’m trying to look at this tag and carry on talking because I didn’t want to interrupt the filming and then when I could read it... whaaaaaaaaaat?!! The Perfect World Foundation donated R32,000 to the Bush Babies programme! I really wasn’t expecting that! I am so blessed and grateful to The Perfect World Foundation for their continued support of this programme!’
NEWS & VIEWS
A hospital for Hoedies? Kerstin Nyberg Peart
HOEDSPRUIT - The idea of having a private hospital in Hoedspruit has been around for a long time. The nearest private hospital is 120 km away, and with an ageing population and substantial international tourism the need for a hospital in the area has become the focus of discussion again. On Tuesday afternoon this week, health professionals in the Hoedspruit area were invited to an information meeting about plans for building a hospital in town. Behind the project are a hospital management and development group, HMS, and a healthcare planning and design organisation, PhD, and their representatives presented their plans to the audience. Carien Taute, project manager, said that market research had shown that 98% of people in Hoedspruit who took part in
the survey were in favour. Between 60 and 70% had needed the services of a radiologist or pathologist in the previous year and would support having these services available locally. Stephan Baker, representing HMS, set out the plans: a licence for a 50 bed hospital was applied for from the Department of Health in June this year. The hospital would have a small intensive care unit (ICU), as well as medical, surgical, paediatric and short stay beds. Kevin Hinde from PhD presented some design ideas. The planned location is behind the Pick n Pay centre, easily accessible from the R40 and open to the bush. The local community would benefit from the jobs created, for example in cleaning and security. The schedule at the moment is for construction to start early next year on condition that the licence is approved, and the
Above: Kevin Hinde and Stephan Baker from PhD
Kevin Hinde and Stephan Baker
The Perfect World Foundation representative, Matilda Söderström
The second surprise came when Matilda joined Hoedspruit AnimaL Outreach (HALO) in Ga-Moraba. ‘Rather than hand over a donation,’ said Matilda, ‘Brass organised a muchneeded dog trailer.’ Waiting until the outreach had begun, Brass drove the trailer into the outreach venue, taking HALO founders Christine Otto and Nina Kisch completely by surprise! ‘This is the best news ever!’ said Nina, ‘It’s an incredible donation and we cannot thank The Perfect World Foundation
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enough for this trailer; and for their on-going support!’ At the end of the four-hour outreach Matilda said, ‘It’s been emotional but I have loved every minute! HALO does such a great job for the community dogs.’ Heading back to Sweden Matilda concluded, ‘I’ve had the best time in Hoedspruit and I’m so proud to represent The Perfect World Foundation here. It has been an absolute thrill to meet everyone involved in these two amazing projects and great fun to hand over the donations!’
Carien Taute, project manager
projected opening is in February – April 2021. The plans met with a mixed response. As well as positive comments, there were dissenting voices who thought the hospital would only be for a small minority who can afford it, and poach nursing staff from the public sector. Questions were also raised about whether a hospital as small as this can have all the facilities to run an effective ICU unit. The meeting ended with an assurance that the local medical community will be consulted as their support was essential, and a promise that a full public meeting will follow.
23 November 2018
LOCAL IS LEKKER
A kid in a million Security with a view Marie Brouzeng
Nina van Eeden 078 778 9014 |Dina de Waal 083 327 0325 firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPERSRUS – Daniël Otto really has the heart of a lion and the soul of a warrior! On Friday 16 November Daniël insisted on competing in the 60m race at his school (Laerskool Mariepskop’s) inter-house meeting despite having Congenital Muscular Dystrophy... what a shin-ing example he is to us all! Never give up Daniël!
DAKTARI - A few weeks ago, we renovated our office which had become too small. We added an extra room, changed the floor, the ceiling and built in big glass windows. The whole office team is very happy with these changes that turned our dark office into a bright and functional working space! However, we still needed burglar bars for our insurance and security but did not want to feel in jail! We contacted SheerGuard SA, who kindly offered to provide us with clear burglar bars…as a donation! SheerGuard SA is a security company specialising in the design, supply and installation of Makrolon® polycarbonate clear burglar bars and transparent security gates. Despite being transparent, they are extremely robust. Dean and Sean from SheerGuard Pretoria (email@example.com) came to DAKTARI at the beginning of November for the installation. Thanks to SheerGuard, DAKTARI’s office is now safe without the feeling of being caged and our windows are also monkey proof (which is real important when you live
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Getting stuck into farming HOEDSPRUIT - During Life Orientation lessons, the Southern Cross College Grade 10 learners have been discussing the social and environmental responsibility they all have. The key objective to this discussion was ‘making a difference and how we can do that’. They wanted to contribute meaningfully to an organisation that addresses social issues and has a positive impact on their workers. They approached Moriah Citrus Estates and recently did four hours of community service assisting the workers in any way possible. They were warmly met by the owners of the farm, Mr and Mrs Meintjes who introduced them to Captain, the team leader on the farm, who informed them of their tasks and procedures to follow when executing them.
94.7 Cycle Challenge ‘18
The learners were divided into three groups and each given a task to start with; assisting with the picking of mangos for atchar production, pruning the overgrown trees after the picking season, and weeding the crèche garden used by the seasonal workers who bring their children to work. Not only did the learners learn a great deal about the intensity of farming but they managed to speak to the workers and work alongside them for a short while. Their efforts were miniscule but the experience was thoroughly enjoyed and they are very grateful for having had the opportunity to give of their time. The Southern Cross College Gr 10 learners all have a new respect for farm workers - their work is by no means easy.
GAUTENG - The 22nd annual Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge was held on Sunday, 18 November, with 94km road cycling through the city of Johannesburg with 23,000 riders. Tinus van Helsdingen, ambassador for Giant Hoedspruit, Greer’s Sport & Cycles, did the race in a time of 2h 38min. This placed him in a position of 470 out of 17,536 riders who finished the race. He was seeded with the racing vets who started in the first groups of the early morning. His wife, Louisette van Helsdingen finished in a time of 3h 58min, and Gert Cloete, the chairman of the Hoedspruit Cycling Club, had a race time of 3h 15min. It was an amazing experience with supporters all the way along the road. The heat wave caused a lot of excitement and some riders were in the saddle for eight hours with temperatures above 35 degrees. The route was done in reverse this year, so the first 45km were mostly uphill with a 1000m climbing to start with, and then a headwind grabbed everyone by surprise on the M1 highway that was supposed to be the easy downhill section. Many Hoedspruit cyclists were participating in this event and finished with really good race times, even in the unbearable heat!!
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Tinus van Helsdingen and his wife, Louisette in the early hours of the morning, ahead of the 94.7
Samuel McIntosh, 11, at the start of his 4th 94.7 cycle challenge on a tandem with his dad, Cleve. They cycled for CHOC, the Childhood Cancer Foundation that supports parents and their children who have cancer.
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