The Democratic Alliance (DA) will continue to push for a multi-departmental intervention within the Jozini region, where a SAPS member was shot in the face by a poacher earlier today.

The officer was allegedly pursuing an illegal gill netter when he was shot and critically injured. The incident comes amid ongoing poaching in the Pongolapoort Dam, where thousands of fish are being netted each week.

That criminals would be so brazen as to shoot a SAPS officer points to a major threat to the area.

Clearly Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW), the SAPS and Department of Water Affairs needs a major intelligence-driven operation to unearth the syndicate operating in the area and protect the only South African dam that stocks the ferocious Tiger Fish.

Tiger fishing and the associated tourism remains one of the largest economic drivers within the entire Umkhanyakude District – a region which is already ranked as one of the poorest in South Africa.

The DA has already consulted with KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) MEC, Ravi Pillay, on the matter. We have insisted that that he and his Department tackle the issue with the appropriate speed and efficiency.

The safety and lives of all residents and the economic sustainability of this region is now a non-negotiable.

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Heinz de Boer, MPL

Heinz de Boer, MPL, is the Democratic Alliance KZN Spokesperson on Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

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