248 KNP Rangers threaten strike action
The front-line battling waves of ruthless rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park (KNP) will face its strongest test with most of its 'soldiers' absent and full moon approaching. Poachers often take advantage of the full moon's natural light when killing at night.
Kruger National Park (KNP) staff notified their management on Tuesday, February 1, 2012 that they will be striking as from Friday, February 3. Of the 361 KNP staff members taking part in the strike, 248 are field rangers.
According to the press statement issued by SANparks, "These employees are sighting salary disparity as their reason for going on strike but the two labour unions that are officially recognised by SANParks as employee representatives, i.e. SACCAWU and HOSPERSA are not party to the strike."
"It is indeed unfortunate that our rangers have decided to go on strike at the time when we are at the peak of our war against rhino poachers. These are the men and women that we rely on in our fight against the poachers, but management would like to assure our guests and the public in general that all contingency measures are in place to adequately deal with the situation," says William Mabasa, HOD: public relations and communication in Kruger.
According to Mabasa, the SAPS, SANDF and Honorary Rangers will reinforce the Park's security and anti-poaching efforts.
In addition, "the recruitment of the additional 150 rangers as per the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs Minister's announcement is proceeding."