KZN nature body told by government to fund itself: report
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has been told by the government that it has to operate independently, according to a report on Friday.
The Mercury reported that the wildlife agency receives an annual budget of over R500 million from the provincial government and employs over 2 500 people.
Ezemvelo was hauled before the KwaZulu-Natal parliamentary committee on finance on Thursday to explain how it would achieve self-sufficiency.
The nature conservation agency was under pressure to operate independently as other departments like health and education needed more resources to deliver services.
Ezemvelo chief executive Bandile Mkhize told the finance committee that the agency had set itself an objective of generating revenue of R193 million in 2012/2013 compared with R177 million generated in 2011/2012.
World-renowned conservationist Ian Player criticised the government saying he had never heard "such nonsense in all his life".
"There is no country in the world that I know which has national parks that run without government funding," Player said.
Chief executive of the Wildlands Conservation Trust Andrew Venter said the move would affect all conservation agencies as they all fell under the state.