Following a request by William Mabasa, Head of Public Relations and Communications in the Kruger National Park, we decided to publish photos of transgressors of Park rules in an attempt to assist in restoring basic respect for others and the Park. These entries are sent by readers, rangers and all people concerned with the welfare of the Park and its visitors.
Please send your contributions to: The Editor, Kruger Park Times, PO Box 953, Phalaborwa, 1390 or you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org We will publish any reasonable letter, but reserve the right to decide on final publication.
We will publish your letter under a nom de plume, but only on condition your real identity is known to us. Please note these opinions are not those of the Kruger Park Times, but the opinions as expressed by our readers. We reserve the right to publish letters and edit where it may be appropriate.
"Feeding wild animals is as good as signing their death warrant," said Wanda Mkutshulwa, head of communications at SANParks. These animals are not pets; they know how to fend for themselves. It is also illegal. The law also prohibits the removal of any plants or animals, as well as spoiling the enjoyment of other visitors. Transgression of these rules can result in a maximum spot fine of up to R3 500.
Fines for disobeying the rules and regulations in the Kruger National Park (KNP) are issued according to various regulations of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 of 2003.
- Feeding of animals: R500
- Removal of wood, sand, gravel, stone or other material: R1 000
- Entering or leaving the park at any place other than through an official point or entry and exit without the written permission of the management authority: R1 500
- Staying overnight without paying the applicable fees: R1 500
- Driving a vehicle in a manner that constitutes a nuisance, disturbance, inconvenience, or danger to any other person: R1 500
- Driving in a manner that causes an obstruction, blocks the pathway of a management operation or emergency vehicles: R1 500
- Drive or park anywhere except on a designated road or place: R1 000
- Drive or operate any vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner or in a deliberate or intentional disregard for the safety of any person, species, specimen or property of whatever nature: New regulation reworded from various "reckless driving" offences: Court
- Use or cause to be used, any loud speaker or similar device or other noisy equipment: R1 500
- Driving a vehicle off road or off designated roads or tracks: R1 500
- Deposit or leave any litter except in receptacle for that purpose: R1 500
- Light or cause any fire to be started or make use of an open fire, other than in a fireplace or container for this purpose: R1 500 or if serious, Court
- Play any radio, compact disc player, music system, musical instrument or in any way cause any noise in any manner likely to disturb any species or specimen or other person: R1 500
- Convey or be in possession of any firearm, or dangerous weapon, or any explosive, trap or poison: Court
- Hunt, catch, capture or kill any specimen of a listed threatened or protected species: Court
- Bringing a dog, cat or pet into a National Park: R1 000
- Hinder trouble, intimidate or obstruct an authorised official in the execution of his or her duties, or the performance of his or her function: Court
- Violates, refuses to obey or comply with any prohibition request or instruction by alighting from a motor vehicle or protruding from an open window door or roof: R1 500
- Failure to obey or comply with prohibition, request or instruction by management authority, by travelling outside normal gate opening/closing times: Fines vary from R500 to R1 000, depending on how late the motorist arrives at the gate
- Exceeding the speed limit on gravel roads: Fines are issued according to both the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 of 2003 and various regulations according the National Road Traffic Regulations. Fines vary from R100 to R1 500 depending on speed recorded. If speed exceeds 84km/h, the driver could land up in Court
- Exceeding the speed limit on tar roads: Fines are issued according to both the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 of 2003 and various regulations according the National Road Traffic Regulations. Fines vary from R100 to R1 500 depending on speed recorded. If speed exceeds 94km/h, the driver could land up in Court.
"We ask visitors who witness any contravention of the KNP rules and regulations or who witness any suspicious activity that they should report the offender to the KNP's Emergency Call Centre on 013 735 4325 and the closest law enforcer will be alerted to the scene," said Abe Sibiya, KNP managing executive.
Sibiya also thanked those visitors who had reported misdemeanours to the Emergency Call Centre in the past, saying that many motorists had been fined as a result of reports from visitors. However, Sibiya cautioned that members of the public who report criminal activity "after the fact" should be prepared to testify in Court.