The Bateleur - Peace Parks Foundation



The Bateleur - Peace Parks Foundation
The Bateleur
Private Bag X3015, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa
Telephone: +27 (0)15 793 7300
Fax: +27 (0)15 7937314
e-mail: [email protected]
October 20 1 5, Issue 5
At the beginning of each year, it is always a daunting
task when one considers the extent of training to be
conducted at the Southern African Wildlife College and
the costs that need to be covered.
In most cases, the organisations and individuals – most
of whom are from historically disadvantaged or marginalized communities - are unable to fund the training
themselves with the onus being on the College to help
support the skills development required if conservation
and the protection of our wildlife is to succeed. In addition, the increased scope of training aligns with the
ever-increasing needs of the conservation sector. Anti
poaching field ranger training and community-based
natural resource management training being a large
component of the current training required.
In the last issue we talked about the support received
and the friendships created with our partners, donors
and supporters who enable us not only to deliver on
our mandate but to surpass various expectations. The
College honestly cannot say thank you enough for this
unwavering support.
With the funding received we have been able to continue with Phase 11 of the College’s development,
implement needs-based training programmes and new
projects and, with the help of our partners provide assistance and technical support at various levels.
Mr. Christoph Weber and Mrs. Bettina Weber, founders of Friends of African Wildlife, recently visited
the College and were taken to see the Friends of
African Wildlife and Sheldon Family Trust sponsored
Bathawk as well as the new Field Ranger Training
Camp facilities and K-9 Unit.
Mr. and Mrs. Walhof thoroughly enjoyed their first visit the College where they were able to interact with
some of the Field Ranger training students and take a flip in the Bathawk.
The programmes, courses and projects funded this
year include our Wildlife Management Qualification programmes, our learnership and skills development programmes, Community Based Natural
Resource Management and Research projects, the
Youth Access Bridging programme, the Enterprise
Development programme and the Wildlife Guardian programme which includes field ranger training
at various levels as well as our anti poaching aerial
monitoring and patrol project, and more recently
the anti poaching K-9 unit.
Here mention must be made of GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit),
NORHED (Norwegian Agency for Development) and
USAID Southern Africa RESILIM Regional Resilience
Training Partnership for their multi-year support of
projects which fall within the Innovation, Development and Best Practice Unit, including the CBNRM
and Research Units.
In addition, we received funding to support the
sustainable use and guiding programmes and the
matched funding required for the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund 4 Project, which will see 257 people
trained and deployed over two years. Here a huge
thank must go to the Dioraphte Foundation, Tusk
Trust, Friends of African Wildlife, Scott Dunn (via
Tusk Trust) Timbavati Foundation, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and MySchool MyPlanet Rhino
Fund, together with other individual donors, for
stepping in to assist us with the matched funding requirement. This will bring to over 1500, the number
of people trained this year alone.
Thanks to the valued and on-going support of the
Rufford Foundation we have also been able to acquire a sorely needed new bus and, with the continued support of Avis, have had the use of two vehicles to assist with transport requirements.
Our partners PPF, WWF, KfW and SAWCT continue
to assist, guide and work alongside us so that we
can meet our objectives and impact the greater goals,
which will influence conservation and the socio economic development of the region.
Organisations, trusts and foundations that this year
pledged their support across various programmes and
projects include those mentioned together with Aimpoint, African Parks, Afrisam, Bellingham Safaris, Dallas Safari Club, Distell, Global Conservation Corps, KfW
Stiftung, First Rand Foundation’s Rand Merchant Bank
Fund, MAVA Foundation (via PPF), Our Horn is NOT
Medicine, Safari Club International Foundation, the
Sheldon Family Trust and Transboundary Conservation
In addition, individuals such as Countess Sylvia Labia,
Mr. Durcesio Mello, Mrs. Fanja Pon and Ms. Sommer
Johnston have supported our Adopt-a-Student Legacy
Campaign together with other individuals such as Mr.
Brendan Goss, Mr. Amos Dukes, Ms. Kathryn Kircher,
Ms. Lee-Anne Davis, Mr. Mark and Mrs. Lee Middleton,
Mr. Michael Lawton, Mr. Rob Sowry, Mr. Chris and Mrs.
Sharmain Hanekom, Mrs. BA Nicholson, SA Phipps and
Mr. and Mrs. Walhof supporting the College’s Wildlife
Guardian Programme and the Bathawk “eye in the sky
anti poaching project.
Our newly established anti poaching K9 unit is indebted
to The Green Trust and WWF for providing the start up
funding (see full article below) with other individuals
including Mr. Parnis, Mr. Verreyne, Mr. Naylor, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Naude, Mr. Karan, Mr. Kay, Ms. Blight, Changing Tides, Mr. Gold, and Mr. SW van Zyl pledging their
support. Thanks must also be extended the donors that
supported events held in Zurich and in the Mitchigan
in the USA to raise funds for the College’s anti poaching units.
With the year drawing to a close, we reflect on our
achievements over the past year but moreover, we pay
homage to those that continue to help and support
us. Without you, we would not be able to continue to
help shape the future of conservation in the region….
Southern African Wildlife College Trust:
A message of thanks
We are delighted by the positive response we have received from you, our
dependable and passionate partners in
conservation. Our Annual Report with
the new Pledge Brochure was distributed early in August 2015. This, together with the invaluable support of our
Principal Founder Trustee, Countess
Sylvia Labia who continues to support
and highlight the excellent work being
done by the Southern African Wildlife
College - has been met with enthusiasm by the Trust’s loyal supporters.
Over R150 000 has recently been
pledged by individual donors who
recognise the importance of their donation being invested wisely by the
Trust. The funds generated will be
utilised for the sole purpose of supporting wildlife management scholarships, bursaries and other activities
which allow the College to carry out its
In addition, some of our valued donors
have supported the vital work being
done by way of the College’s Wildlife
Guardianship Programme to help combat wildlife crime and the current rhino
poaching crisis. Other donors have
indicated that they have included the
Trust in their legacies. We would like to
acknowledge this and express our sincere thanks. Investing in conservation
in perpetuity via the Trust, provides future generations with the opportunity
to enjoy our beautiful and uniquely
rich natural heritage. A living legacy
well worth considering.
Some 70 corporates, trusts and foundations, who are long-term supporters
of the Trust, have now also been approached, 20 of whom recently invited
proposals for continued funding. We
appreciate their renewed interest and
look forward to the outcomes.
Our AGM was also held early in August
with the Trust celebrating 15 years
since its inception, as well as good
returns on its investments, thanks to
WWF-SA who manage the Trust’s portfolio. Disbursements to support the
work of the College have grown over
the years, with a current “milestone”
disbursement of R1-million having
been approved by the Trustees this
financial year. Every donation to the
Trust since inception has made this
special achievement possible. This is
particularly pertinent given the growth
experienced by the College over the
past few years together with the fact
that conservation in general is not well
funded. You, through your donations
to the Trust, have helped ensure that
the custodians of Africa’s wildlife are
properly trained to meet the challenges being faced in conservation today.
For this we thank you!
In closing, we wish all of the students
at the College well in their final examinations, and look forward to the graduation of the Higher Education and
Training, Wildlife Area Management
students early in December 2015.
Countess Sylvia Labia, SAWCT Principle Founder Trustee (top)
and Mrs. Lesley Richardson, SAWCT Chairperson, received certificates of appreciation from Mr. Ian Goodwin (SAWCT Vice
Chair) at the AGM for their support of the Trust since its establishment by WWF-SA in 2000.
The SAWCT Trustees, together with WWF and SAWC staff members, celebrate the Trust’s 15-year anniversary.
Thanks to the involvement of our partners WWF South Africa, the
WWF Nedbank Green Trust has agreed to support rhino conservation
efforts by way of providing capital and operational support to the College’s newly established Dog Unit. The Unit explicitly talks to the building and protection of rhino populations through field conservation efforts, and will be run as a College project.
The full scope of the project aims to train field rangers (as dog handlers) and dogs in disciplines that are considered to be of most benefit
to the anti-poaching community. Initial focus will be on rangers (handlers) and dogs in the disciplines that are not currently being offered
elsewhere and will provide the greatest immediate benefit to the antipoaching operations, whilst also directly building on the current K9
capability of the Kruger National Park.
This in turn supports the five tactical areas that have been identified as
priorities by WWF-SA to support rhino conservation efforts: Building
resilient rhino populations through field conservation efforts, engaging local communities in wildlife conservation, strengthening national
law enforcement activities, developing bilateral cooperation between
South Africa and transit and consumer countries and ultimately reducing demand for illicit rhino horn. Bolstering this is the College’s provision of well-trained and equipped rangers, delivered through the new
ranger training station, as well as aerial surveillance to help plot and
monitor rhino movements and poacher suppression tactics and, during an operation, carry out poacher suppression tactics.
The establishment of the SAWC’s K-9 Unit is primarily due to the successes that dogs and their trackers have been experiencing in the anti
poaching field, which is further underpinned by the success of the K-9
hound-tracking ‘tool’ being tested in the Kruger National Park.
The Kempiana property on which SAWC is based, and which is owned
by WWF South Africa, is together with the Kruger National Park experiencing high levels of rhino poaching pressure. Through the provision
of effectively trained handlers and dogs, it is envisaged the poaching
statistics will decrease substantially, and arrests will increase in this
high impact zone. This will largely be due to the ability of the dogs to
track at speeds much faster than people, and in terrain where the best
human trackers would lose spoor.
Initially the project will include Free Tracking Dogs: Trained to locate,
track and indicate the presence of fleeing poachers off line, free running as well as the incursion Dogs (Spoor Cutters): Trained to locate
and indicate the crossing of borders and roads by poachers. The funding provided by the WWF Nedbank Green Trust will support the establishment of dog handler and dog master accommodation on site, the
development of accredited training material for free-tracking hounds
and 18-months of training required by the tracker dogs and their handlers.
Our sincere gratitude is extended to WWF SA and the WWF Nedbank
Green Trust for their ongoing support and commitment to rhino conservation efforts. In addition, WWF SA provides support to the College’s Community Based Natural Resource Management Unit and
projects sites as part of the priorities identified in support of rhino
The WWF-Nedbank Green Trust, co-founded by Nedbank and WWF-SA in 1990, is a
mutually beneficial partnership between
Nedbank and WWF-SA, which supports
nature conservation projects through
community-based programmes.
The K-9 Unit dog housing under construction.
Changing things up in the
Resource Centre
As we reach the end of 2015 the Resource Centre says goodbye to the three schools
that were involved in the bookmobile project. Over the years a collaborative working
relationship was developed between each school and the project has been a success.
Books that were originally donated from Biblionef, a non-profit organization has been
handed over to the schools this year and each school has plans to use these books to
begin their own library collection for their learners.
We thank the coordinators from Mtembeni, Manyeleti and Nxalati Primary school as
this project would not have thrived without their continued cooperation.
Although the lively interaction and friendly faces of these schools will be missed, in
2016 three new schools will be selected to be part of the Bookmobile project and the
Resource Centre looks forward to forging new working relationships with these schools.
Working on a mobile library like the bookworm kiddies club provides an exciting opportunity to gain work experience for a recent library studies graduate, equally interesting is the prospect of tutoring adult, English second language students in computers,
literacy and numeracy for a newly graduated educator. This is why in 2016 the Resource
Centre will introduce two new Intern positions and one rotating volunteer position.
It was with profound sadness that we learnt that one
of our past Wildlife Area Management students’ life
was cut short. Themba Nkosi, who completed the HET
Certificate programme in 2013 and was employed by
Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, passed away
following a shooting incident on September 7 whilst off
Themba’s positive attitude, enthusiasm for his work
and friendly demeanor will long be remembered by all
who knew or came into contact with him. Our sincere
condolences are once again extended to his family, organization and friends.
Hamba Kahle Themba. May you rest in peace.
Daphne Gengayan: Resource Centre officer
From left to right: Ms. Daphne Gengayan, Mr. Matthews Mnisi, Principal: Mtembeni
Primary School, Cecilia Mdluli, Project Coordinator: Mtembeni Primary School
Ms. Annelize Steyn: Head Academic Compliance and Quality Assurance and Countess Sylvia Labia pictured with Mr.
Themba Nkosi at his graduation in 2013.
On Saturday, 19 September 2015, staff members of
the College decided to organise an event to honour World Rhino Day (on 22 September) and to
strengthen the social cohesion between the newly
established Ranger Camp and the College Main
After a warm welcome to all students and staff
members by Mr. Auswell Machabe, HET-Coordinator, as well as a prayer to bless the event, the day
continued with a drilling performance by the trainee rangers. This impressive performance was followed up with a speech held by Mr. Ruben de Kock,
Protected Area Integrity Business Unit Manager, on
the importance of discipline and drill in the bush
where every second counts and decisions have to
be made within the blink of an eye.
The thank you to the organizers and participants
of the event came from Mr. Andrè Cornelius, Ex-
ecutive Manager: Operations, who emphasised the
importance of discipline while dealing with poaching and working in nature conservation. Nathaniel
Simayumbula, the President of the Social Committee, ended the formal part of the day by thanking
all on behalf of the students and explaining how the
different methods of nature conservation and antipoaching all link to discipline.
game went into penalty shooting and was won by
the LEDET Jobs Fund students with the close score
of 5:4. In the grand finale, both teams fought hard
for victory and in the end the KZN Jobs Fund team
succeeded in becoming the champions by winning
6:5 on penalty shooting. The neutral referee made
sure that all the games were played fairly and with
a sporting spirit.
After a great lunch of boerewors rolls the players
were strengthened and ready to start the soccer
match everybody was waiting to see. The teams entered singing and the first game started at quarter
past one with the KZN Jobs Fund Field Rangers team
versing the SAWC staff team. This intense game
went all the way into penalty shooting and was
won by the KZN Jobs Fund students, 5 to 4 goals.
The next game, where the LEDET Jobs Fund students battled over the ball against the HET student
team, did not disappoint either. Again, this tough
Ultimately the day was a great success where the
thought of nature conservation, the feeling of team
spirit and fun could all be brought together. The success of this event can be attributed to the organizers
Mr. Auswell Machabe, Mr. Professor Mtungwa, Ms.
Theodore Ngobeni, Mr. Sboniso Phakathi, Ms. Sommer Johnston and Ms. Dineo Chiloane as well as the
stakeholders PME and BUCO and the kitchen staff
who prepared the food for the entire campus.
Ms. Sommer Johnston: Volunteer
carried out within the framework of the regulations of Education and Training Quality Assurers (ETQA’s) of the SAQA.
In a previous issue of Bateleur, we explained the accreditation
and registration status of SAWC as an institution, and what is required according to the regulatory framework for a private academic institution to offer qualifications. In this issue, I will try to
explain the mandate of some of the educational bodies to ensure quality in the academic milieu.
The CHE evaluates how both private and public Higher
Education institutes maintain quality at institutional and
programme levels. The HEQC uses different methods to
evaluate whether institutions maintain the required quality. These methods include institutional audits, programme
accreditation, national reviews and quality promotion as
well as capacity development. For new programmes, HEQC
uses 9 broad criteria to evaluate whether the programme
meets the requirements for accreditation. This includes programme design, including complexity depending on the NQF
level; student recruitment admission and selection policies,
staffing qualification, experience and seniority; teaching
and learning strategy; student assessment policies & procedures; infrastructure and library resources
The National Qualifications Framework (NQF), provided for by
the Act 67 of 2008, is a comprehensive system for the classification, registration and publication of articulated and qualityassured national qualifications and part-qualifications. The minister of Higher Education and Training has determined as policy
that the NQF will comprise of three co-ordinated qualifications
Sub-Frameworks. These are the General and Further Education
and Training Sub-Framework (GFETQSF) (with qualifications registered at NQF levels 1-4); the Higher Education Qualifications
Sub-Framework (HEQSF) (with qualification on levels 5 to 10);
and the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF)
(with qualification on levels 1 to 6).
Three Quality Councils were established to manage these three
sub-frameworks. Collectively, the Quality Councils and the South
African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) all work for the good of
both learners and employers.
The NQF Act has introduced changes in the roles and responsibilities of the different bodies that are responsible for ensuring
achievement of the objectives of the NQF. These include:
The Minister of Higher Education and Training has overall
responsibility for the NQF and for determining the qualification structure for the Higher Education system
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is responsible for the development of policy and criteria for
registering standards and qualifications on the NQF, on the
recommendation of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).
SAQA, together with the Quality Councils (QC’s) must seek
to achieve the objectives of the NQF by developing, fostering and maintaining an integrated and transparent national
framework for the recognition of learner achievements;
ensuring SA qualifications meet appropriate criteria determined by the Minister; are internationally comparable; and
ensuring that SA qualifications are of an acceptable quality
The CHE is responsible for the development and management of the Higher Education Qualification Sub Framework
(HEQSF) and advising the minister on matter relating to the
HEQSF; for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, through
its permanent sub committee the HEQC, and for the development of standards for the Higher Education qualifications.
The mandate of the HEQC includes quality promotion and is
The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO)
was established in 2010 in terms of the Skills Development
Act. Its role is to oversee the design, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications
on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF).
Another important role for the QCTO is to offer guidance
to service providers who must be accredited by the QCTO
to offer occupational qualifications. The SETAs had formerly
seen to education and training quality assurance, development of learnerships, trades and accreditation of the service
providers. When the functions of the QCTO moved to the
Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), it was
necessary to make it clear that QCTO would take care of occupational qualifications, and had to be distinguished from
the FETs, which fell under the supervision of Umalusi.
The QCTO has to ensure that every qualification offered is
of relevance in the market place and would ensure employment of those who took those qualifications. Its scope is the
development and QA of fit-for purpose occupational qualification and unit standards as is required by the labor market
for work and employment purposes. This reflects a new approach to QA, in which QA permeates all activities and is not
seen as a separate function.
As a registered and accredited provider of Higher Education, all
SAWC operations are thus governed by all the Legislative and
Regulatory requirements for ETDSA. Apart from the registration and accreditation process, it also includes that an accredited provider must have a Quality Management System (QMS),
which is benchmarked against several legislation and guidelines.
This QMS should make provision for policies that govern the
provider’s ETD proactively; processes and procedures for the
implementation of policies; and a mechanism to review these
policies, processes and procedures. ETQA Regulations informs
quality management requirements criteria as used and applied
towards Accreditation of Providers; Programme registration and
ETD provider Registration (HET) and program accreditation. Providers are thus required to submit an Annual Report on compliance to these regulations to the Department of Higher Education
and Training in order to retain its status.
Although all of these requirements and regulations must seem
like a lot of bureaucracy, it is important to note the underlying
objective: the strive to provide a quality education to all, and
to protect employers and future learners and students against
sub standard programmes and qualifications. This College will
therefore always maintain its level of education and quality of
programmes through compliance with these regulations.
“Information courtesy of : and”
Annelize Steyn, Head: Academic Compliance and Quality
Heritage Day
It was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who famously coined the
phrase “Rainbow Nation” - and what a good phrase it is! We
recently celebrated Heritage Day in South Africa and in keeping
with this important event our long course students put on a display of their cultural attire, traditions, foods and other aspects
covering the amazing diversity of cultures that our students
represent. Thanks to Annelize Steyn, Head: ACQM the Higher
Certificate module in cultural heritage management was rescheduled two years ago to coincide with this public holiday
in order to make the most of the opportunity to show off. The
students took the opportunity seriously!
If Africa is generally a hotspot of biodiversity then the same can
be said for its cultural diversity. One of the features of Africa
that that people miss most when leaving, is the diversity of its
people. The colours, the sounds and smells, the rhythms and
the unique combination of these is what defines Africa as much
as does an elephant, a mountain or a forest. All of these were
found in abundance at the College on September 24!
We saw men dancing in colourful dresses, others in skirts made
of maize sacks, and others in traditional loin cloths and skins.
We ate snot apples and sourdough baked on the fire, wild spinaches, roasted nuts and African chocolate made from the nuts
of the marula tree. To drink, we had the refreshing Umqombothi
– made of fermented maize and sorghum. Fortunately this libation was not fully matured or the celebrations would no doubt
have become a lot more “festive”.
Once again I found myself thinking how privileged we are to
host such an amazing array of people at the College. We really do have something special in Africa, but so often we water
it down and disguise it behind suits and ties and nondescript
uniforms. Our people become faceless and homogeneous and
lose the very essence of what makes them special. On at least
one day this year though, the students revelled in the opportunity to show off how different, how unique they are, while
simultaneously celebrating and sharing together what it means
to be African.
Malcolm Douglas, Manager: Wildlife Area Management
The recently held short courses have breathed some new life into the Wildlife Area Management Department over the last couple of months. The College trains short course both on and off-site. Mainly driven by the needs of
the organisations requesting the training, these courses can be tailor-made
for the client if need be. So herewith a peek into the kind of short courses
which were conducted by the College over the past few weeks.
We kicked off with a one-week CBNRM short course that was conducted offsite in the Eastern Cape from 28 September to 2 October taught by Mr. Rodgers Lubilo. The main focus of this course was to support the transformation
of rural community into effective and organised community structures with
a high level of participation of the local communities in sustainable natural resource management. Another two-week CBNRM short course will run
during the month of November in the Limpopo Province.
Debrief of lessons learned on day three of the course. Ms. Mieke van der Wansem (Senior Trainer) and Ms. Christine Mentzel (Co-Senior Trainer) in the background while Junior Trainers debrief the previous day’s sessions with the group.
A two-week Tourism Management short course ran from 18 to 31 October
in the Eastern Cape with the outcome of the course enabling participants
to recognise and implement a tourism management plan for their various
parks in practical ways.
GIS and Project Management short courses have also been in demand and
we envision quite a number of these running in 2016. The first Project Management course for 2015 commenced during the first week of November
also in the Easter Cape with the main focus on how to implement a project
through the various stages of project management.
A new exciting development has been the launch of the first Stakeholder
Engagement and Negotiations Skills short course that ran from the 18 to 24
October here at the College. The SAWC collaborated with the Biodiversity
and Protected Area Management (BIOPAMA) and the Sustainability Challenge Foundation (SCF) to offer this training, using the Mutual Gains Approach. This course is aimed at supporting efforts to better secure protected
areas and key biodiversity areas. A central principle of the Mutual Gains
Approach to negotiations is that the vast majority of negotiations in the real
world involve parties who have more than one goal or concern in mind and
more than one issue that can be addressed in the agreement they reach.
This model allows parties to improve their chances of creating an agreement superior to existing alternatives and meeting the priority needs of
all stakeholders. It is based on four key steps for negotiating more sustainable solutions: preparation, value creation, value distribution and following
through. We aim to run this particular course again during the first quarter
of 2016.
We would like to thank Ms. Mieke van der Wansem, Associate Director:
Centre for International Environment and Resource Policy from Tufts University in Massachusetts and Ms. Christine Mentzel, Senior Programme Officer: Conservation Areas and Species Diversity IUCN (International Union
for Conservation of Nature) South Africa Office and BIOPAMA for partnering
with SAWC to make this training possible. Also thank you to Prof. Edson
Gandiwa from Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe and Ms. Lisa
van Dongen, Social Performance Consultant and Mediator SA for their valuable contribution to the training as co-trainers. We also want to thank everyone that attended the course for their efforts and their passion to take
up the tools they have gained. We hope to hear how the skills tha they have
acquired are helping them solve some of our continent’s most pressing and
urgent issues.
For any information on the short courses that are being run by the SAWC,
please contact Marilize van der Walt at [email protected]
Participants of the Stakeholder Engagement & Negations Skills Training
Practical simulations that needed to be prepared by each participant. Here Group
1 under the Facilitator role of Mr. Abednigo Nzuza are practicing negotiation according to MGA process each with a specific role and interest in the issue.
Group 2 practicing negation skills on day two of training. Ms. Elna Japisa Mathonsi (LEDET representative) taking on the role of Facilitator for this practical
negotiations exercise.
A brain storming group exercise. Mr. Abednigo Nzuza (SA), Mr. Woldemedhin
Mulatu (Ethiopia), Mr. Shiven Rambarath (SA – KZN Wildlife), Mr. Aaron Mangena (SA – LEDET representative).
Finding next steps according to the mutual gains process for real case studies that
need problem solving. Ms. Magda Goosen from KZN Wildlife with other participants discussing next steps toward problem solving with regard to the planned
cable car development in the Drakensberg.
Sustainable Use and Field Guiding
Sustainable Use students assist with rhino darting, ear
notching and micro chipping.
For the 2014 Sustainable Use
students, their time at the
SAWC is rapidly drawing to
a close. All their final exams
have been written and most
of their practical assessments
have been completed. I’m
proud to say they have done
well and it has been a pleasure
to see them mature and become competent young professionals over the year and a
half they have spent here.
As a reward for their efforts
they were invited to attend
a recent rhino darting, ear
notching and micro chipping
exercise – and in the end it
was just as well they were
there because their strong
young muscles were most definitely needed!
In drizzly and wet conditions a
large bull rhino was darted to
the north of the College by Dr.
Marcus Hofmeyer, the KNP’s
Chief Veterinarian. The massive bull went down on his side
close to the road. After stabilizing him, drilling holes in his
horns, fitting microchips, and
notching his uppermost right
ear, the bull needed to be positioned onto his sternum so
as to gain access to his left ear
for notching and additional
blood sample collection. This
is when some serious musclepower was needed! With the
ground being wet, the bull
kept sliding along the ground
instead of being lifted. He was
also wet and muddy which did
not help either. Getting a grip
on his thick skin was extremely difficult and in the end it
took almost a full rugby team
with much huffing and puffing
It took almost a whole rugby team, along with lots of huffing and puffing to
get the heavy, wet, muddy and slippery bull onto his chest.
to finally get the bull onto his
Once this had been accomplished, the rest of the exercise went swiftly. Shortly
after the stipulated, ‘not longer than 30 minutes on the
ground’ period had expired,
the bull was reversed. After
an anxious few minutes he
stumbled to his feet and ambled off.
Ear notching the rhinos in
our training area allows us to
identify them easily and this
assists with monitoring their
movements. Valuable data is
being assembled in the process which will prove to be
extremely useful.
Dr. Kevin Robertson, Business
Unit Manager: Sustainable
Use and Field Guiding
The darted rhino bull moments before he went
down. There would have been a fine reward of ice
cold beverages in it for the chopper pilot if he went
down in the road. This time Gerry McDonald was not
so lucky – the bull went down with only his horn in
the road!
For the Sustainable Use students, this was the first time they were able to
get up close and personal to a huge rhino bull. Such experiences will last
them a lifetime.
After an anxious few minutes, no. 244 finally staggered to his feet.
The Rural Based Enterprise Empowerment
and Employment Project (Jobs Fund 3032)
has made steady progress during the third
quarter of its second year. The two-year project is funded by Jobs Fund under the Department of National Treasury with the fundamental aim of training SMME’s and creating
sustainable employment through enterprise
development and business linkages for rural
communities living on the western boundary
of the Kruger National Park.
Through ongoing mentorship, the enterprises
have managed to register their businesses on
different databases, e.g. SANBI, municipal
databases (Limpopo & Mpumalanga) and
provincial departments, for potential contracting opportunities which will allow them
an opportunity to grow their businesses and
branch out into other business activities.
Through the efforts of the business linkages
manager the enterprises in Bushbuckridge
and Malelane area are receiving more assistance from SEDA branches in their respective
The 2015 SMME’s applied for the Tholoana
Enterprise Programme earlier in May, which
provides support grants on behalf of the
South African Breweries Foundation (SABF).
Four enterprises were successful in the selection stages and underwent thorough coaching. They will start receiving the much-needed grants from November 2015.
In the 4th quarter mentorship and workplace
assessment will be concluded as the project
moves towards the close-out phase at the
end of December 2015 The learners’ portfolio of evidence will be submitted for exit
moderation in late November. A certification
ceremony will be held on 7 December at the
SAWC to honour the learners with a certificate of achievement for those learners that
have been declared competent.
The project is a partnership between three
organisations. Resource Africa (leadimplementer), SAWC (training partner) and SANParks (main contractor).
Ephodiah Mdluli, Project Administrator
During one workplace assessment sessions the Jobs Fund
Rural Based Enterprise Empowerment and Employment
Project students were tasked with doing a customer services role play exercise. The role play exercise pictured enabled
the students to prepare and set up for a wedding.
his feet.
9 October marked the final step in the learning process for the third cohort of
30 learners that recently completed the National Certificate in Conservation Resource Guardianship under the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund 2644 project.
The 30 young men were extremely proud to celebrate their achievements and
all the hard work of the past year with their families. Emotions ran high with
much praise being showered on them.
The scope of the project entitled “Community Rangers as a socio-economic
development tool” was to train 30 unemployed youth per annum over three
years. The project, which closed out at the end of September 2015, trained
unemployed youth from local communities as Field Rangers. The aim was to
provide skilled and equipped field staff to parks and reserves whilst also having
a social and economic impact in the communities that the trainees come from.
The College was very proud to have the Head of the Jobs Fund, Ms. Najwah
Ellie-Edries, attend the function. She not only participated in some of the drill
exercises, but was moved to tears by the very tangible sense of pride and joy
demonstrated by family members. This was reinforced by an impressive display
of drill and discipline by the young men. The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund was
left with little doubt about the impact the SAWC is having on the lives of young
people through its programme delivery.
The students’ graduation took place at the College’s new Ranger Camp facility,
fortunately in slightly cooler temperatures than the previous day’s 43 degree
The SAWC wishes all 30 young men all the best as they enter the next phase
of their lives which will see them start working within the conservation sector.
Ms. Najwah Ellie-Edries, Head of the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund congratulates one of the Jobs Fund 2644 project graduates.
Mpumalanga- Youth Environmental Services Training/ Skills Programme
The Youth Environmental Services Project is in
its final year of implementation with 98 participants currently on year three of this programme. The intervention is funded by the
Department of Environmental Affairs and was
initiated with the aim of recruiting 300 youth
between the ages of 18 and 35 to participate in
community services, training and personal development as well placement into employment
(including self-employment) and further training opportunities.
Learners from both skills programmes are
placed in Thaba Chweu and Bushbuckridge district municipalities, with regional offices, primary schools and environmental centres where
they assist the host institutions with core functions. These activities range from collection,
transportation and disposal of waste in landfill
sites, separation and recycling waste, assistance
at landfill sites, house hold surveys, environmental education in schools, implementation of
the ‘sustainable school yard programme’ (SSYP),
greening schools and communities, clean up
campaigns, art-work using recyclables, assisting
community based organisations and supporting
local government in celebration of environmental and calendar days.
Thus far four waste management groups have
started selling their collections to buyers within their regions; they have also been engaging their local communities’ formal and informal markets in an attempt to raise awareness
around the management of waste. The ongoing
support from the Bushbuckridge based Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and
Land Administration (DARDLA) has been instru-
ment in the progress made by the environmental awareness learners at their host schools.
These learners have been implementing the
SSYP at selected schools on behalf of DARDLA;
this has seen these learners assisting schools in
arts and culture, water and waste management
on the premises, beautification (greening) and
environmental awareness.
In the previous quarter, the College also held a
graduation ceremony for the 85 learners from
the 2014 group on 17 August, which was attended by various stakeholders, mentors and representatives from the Department of Environmental Affairs. Many of these learners have exited
to: further study with various FET’s, Technical
Schools, Universities, project related work, self
employment, whilst others are currently working for the state.
Youth Access: Bridging PROGRAMME
On Thursday 8 October 2015, the Southern African Wildlife College bid farewell to the class of
2015’s Conservation and Environmental Education Bridging Programme learners. The graduation was the culmination of six exciting months
spent on this programme. The ceremony was
attended by key stakeholders such as Limpopo
Economic Development Environment and
Tourism (LEDET), Mpumalanga Tourism Parks
Agency, Timbavati Foundation, Tshikululu Social
Investments (attending on behalf of First Rand
Foundation’s Rand Merchant Bank Environmental Fund), Mnisi Tribal Authority and of course
proud family and friends of the graduates.
In the spirit of this course, we again attracted
youth from all walks of life who had shown an
interest in gaining entrance into a career in nature conservation and or environmental education. The learners came from Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, The Western Cape, KwaZulu
Natal, Zambia and as far as Qatar in the Middle
East. The learners spent four months at the College, during which they did training in First Aid,
Snake Handling, Environmental Education, Environmental Leadership and Unarmed Field Ranger Training in preparation for their two month
experiential work-placement in state owned
nature reserves, and within Timbavati Foundation. The learners were involved in activities
ranging from performing general conservation
guardianship, identification of fauna and flora,
fence patrols, tracking and apprehending small
game poachers, environmental education with
schools, and engagement with communities
neighbouring their reserves/workplaces.
The graduation started with a pass out parade
led by African Field Ranger Training Services
Instructor, Sheppard Maunyane. The learners
were all lined on the parade ground and under instruction from the Instructor they proceeded to demonstrate their drill formations.
Programme Director and Community, Youth
Development and Access Business Unit Manager, Mr. Christopher Kafoteka opened the programme and gave a word of welcome to the
guests. Student Representative Isaiah Mathebula delivered a heart warming speech about
the group’s collective learning experience as
well as an appeal to the responsibility they (the
learners) had to the environment when returning to their respective homes. His speech was
followed by Foster Ubisi, a previous learner on
the programme who is currently under the employ of Timbavati Foundation. He spoke about
“the doors of opportunities” that the course
had opened up for him and his peers and encouraged the graduates to follow their passion.
Mr. Sboniso Phakathi, the Project Coordinator
spoke next, thanking the funders namely: Rand
Merchant Bank for their three year commitment to the programme, Swiss based ‘Friends
of African Wildlife’ as well as the supporters
namely: Chipambele organisation, Warthog
Willow Trust through Lion Sands, Timbavati
Foundation, WWF South Africa, Mpumalanga
Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) and Limpopo
Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET). In closing he motivated the graduates to have curious minds and
never lose their sense of commitment coupled
with a keen sense of adventure. Finally Modjadji Nature student mentor, Mr. John Mhlongo of
LEDET congratulated the students on their success and urged them to be the voice for nature
in their communities.
The top achievers in the class of 2015 were as
Top Environmental Education module and
top achiever overall – Thalo Cardoso
Top Field Ranger – Kgaugelo Leshaba
Most promising Environmental Educator –
Isaiah Mathebula
Most promising Conservationist and Environmental Leader – Kabwe Chanda
The Southern African Wildlife College would like
to wish all the graduates well as they set forth
in their future as guardians of the natural environment.
Sboniso Ryan Phakathi, Community Liaison
From left to right seated: Mr. Sboniso Phakathi, Project Coordinator, Ms. Bianca Jordan,Tshikululu Social Investments (on behalf of First Rand Foundation’s
Rand Merchant bank Environmental Fund, Chief Mnisi, Mr. Mlambo, Welverdiend Induna. Learners seated from left to right: (Top Achievers) Kabwe Chanda,
Isaiah Mathebula, Kgaugelo Leshaba and Thalo Cardoso
Gawie’s Field News
How do you find a herd of buffalo? Well at the
moment it is rather easy. All you have to do
is find a slightly raised area that will give you
a view over the trees. Scan the surrounding
country side and if you see a fine dust cloud
hanging over the scrub you have found
your herd of buffalo. You see it is the end of
October and the height of the dry season, the
bush is tinder dry and a puff of dust is created
every time a heavy animal takes a step. So
you can imagine the effect that a herd of
buffalo, a couple hundred strong, will have as
they slowly move through the bush trying to
get enough grazing while staying within easy
reach of water.
One of my all time favourite things to do after
a long hot day at work is to find a comfortable
spot at a waterhole, dam or pool of water in an
otherwise dry river bed with a cold beer and
wait for a herd of buffalo to come and drink.
The first inclination that they are approaching
is the cloud of dust that will appear on the
horizon. As they get closer you faintly start
to hear the occasional clash of horns and
thundering hooves as a couple of hundred
thirsty bovines push and shove to be first in
line to reach the water. The noise intensifies
with the bellowing of the calves trying to keep
up. Then you spot them, at first only a few
of them, five or six abreast coming at a trot
as they smell the water. Then a long line of
seemingly never ending buffalo come snaking
out of the bush and as the first few reach
the water they are unceremoniously pushed
deeper and deeper into the water by the ones
coming from behind. They don’t show any fear
of crocodiles and I surely don’t think they have
to. It must be a fearsome site even for a big
crocodile to see these huge animals bearing
down like an unstoppable force. I have been
fortunate to sit next to the Shingwedzi River
where I actually saw a very large crocodile
that was basking on the banks making a
very indecent retreat back to the water as a
big herd of buffalo came for a drink. He only
surfaced again when he was well clear and
stayed a very respectable distance away until
they were finished.
The Spring season has been rather strange.
A lot has been said, with many predictions
made about the strong El Nino system that is
currently prevailing. Then early in September
we unexpectedly received a very welcome
shower of rain, a soft drenching rain which
lasted for about 24 hours and accounted for
nearly 50mm of rain. The parched earth soaked
up every last drop and, as can be expected,
the bush responded with vigor. Barely a week
later the grass was lush and green and all the
trees in full young leave. Then came October,
suicide month!
A heat wave descended over the Lowveld that
just never seemed to let up. Almost every
day the temperature would go to the high
30 degrees and some days hit the 40 degree
mark. It was accompanied on most days by a
hot dry north westerly wind that just simply
sucked the moisture out of everything with
your breath almost choking in your throat. The
small pans formed by the rain stood no chance
and dried up very quickly. The grass was burnt
back to dusty yellow. At least most of the trees
still remain in new summer dress.
Slowly the number of animals have increased
around the College with Hippo Quarry (aka
the Borrow Pit) being the last remaining
water source across a rather large area. Herds
of impala, zebra, wildebeest and even large
groups of kudu are frequently encountered
as they make their way to the water. One
afternoon coming back from the shooting
range we saw a large group of giraffe. How
many there were I am not sure as I couldn’t
see them all let alone count them, but there
must have been at least 20. My previous
record for the most giraffes in one sighting was
24, a group I saw at a waterhole one afternoon
in the Kruger National Park.
Big game has been a little scarce of late but we
still have regular visits of big old elephant bulls
and the occasional breeding herd as they too
make use of Hippo Quarry which has enough
water for them to take a good swim and cool
off. Buffalo as usual have been rather scarce.
Then as they say it never rains but pours. This
past weekend saw us literally inundated with
buffalo. We saw no less than three different
herds on a game drive on Saturday morning
and another two herds in the afternoon. At
least one herd was still hanging around by
Monday as we tracked to a spot just north of
the College during a tracking assessment.
Overall the last few weeks have been good for
wildlife sightings at the College. It all started
with a pack of wild dogs spotted on the main
entrance road one morning. They all then
proceeded to spend the whole day sleeping
on or just off the road. In the late afternoon,
whilst sitting on my porch, I heard the dogs
close by. I walked down to the fence and saw
them socialising right next to the fence about
100m down from my house. A better end to
the day I could not have asked for. The cherry
on the cake was the lion kill at Hippo Quarry.
Two female lions managed to take down a
buffalo a few Fridays back and we had the
opportunity to go and view them taking their
fill over the next few days. By Sunday they
were joined by a large old male lion. What
a weekend and just as well that it was the
weekend our PH students were doing their
catering and hospitality practical. As part
of the practical, some staff members were
invited to act as guests that the students had
to wine and dine and take out on game drive.
The food was a real hit but more so the fact
that the students were lucky enough to have
all this happening to keep their “guests” happy
and well occupied during the game drive.
As I type this, a cold soft drizzle has descended
over the College, which has forced me into a
jersey. A very welcome reprieve from the last
couple of weeks, we can only hope that it will
stay a while but this is hardly likely given the
weather predictions.
Until next time...
With Compliments
Southern African Wildlife College
Private Bag X3015, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa.
Tel: +27 (15) 793-7300
Fax: +27 (15) 793-7314
E-mail: [email protected]
Directors: Dr. I.B. Mkhize (Chairman), Mr. P.K. Bewsher, Mr. I. Goodwin, Countess. S. Labia, Mrs. L.M. Lynch,
Mr. O.E. Mokganedi, Mr. W. Myburgh, Dr. G. Raven, Prof. B.K. Reilly, Dr. B. Soto (Mozambique), Mrs. T. Sowry.

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