Fines for misbehaving in the KNP have been increased sharply by an average of 250 percent compared to the fines that were approved in 2004 in an attempt to keep rule-breakers in line with the Park's rules and regulations.
Over Easter, KNP Protection Services personnel, together with South African Police Service (SAPS) members set up vehicle stop and search points and conducting other "visible policing" tactics in an at- tempt to eradicate all forms of criminal activity in the KNP during this period.
"We would like to believe that most of our visitors do abide by the rules and regulations, however there are those road users who do choose to misbehave. Our warning is that if our protection services staff or rangers catch you, they could issue you with a fine of considerable proportions," said the KNP's acting managing executive Abe Sibiya.
The Admission of Guilt fine list has been totally reworked from the previous one that was used. Various regulations have been either reworded or brought in line with the provisions of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 of 2003.
Aimed to tie in with the national "Arrive Alive" campaign, the anti crime operation started on February 28, 2009 until the end of April. The aim was to ensure a safe environment for visitors to the KNP with particular emphasis on the southern half of the KNP, below the Olifants River, which experiences more tourism during peak periods.
However, there will also be operations in the northern half of the KNP which will extend as far as the Shingwedzi/Punda Maria area. Cross border smuggling, illegal entry into South Africa and the monitoring of taxi movements to ensure that they have the necessary permits have been the particular em- phasis of the operation north of the Olifants River. KNP traffic officials have also been on duty during that time and concentrated on speeding and other traffic related offences."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," concluded Sibiya.
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.
The rules and regulations for the KNP are applicable to everyone, in- cluding visitors, contractors and staff members; although staff members do have certain restricted concessions (eg staff members may drive up to 65 km/h on tar roads).
Exceeding the speed limit on tar roads fines: Fines are issued according to both the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 or 2003 and various regulations according the National Road Traffic Regulations. Fines vary from R100 to R1 500 depending on speed recorded. If speed exceeds 94 km/h, the driver could land up in Court Fines are revised on an annual basis and are proposed by the KNP Managing Executive and approved by the White River Magistrate.