TW Steel partnership with Rhino Action Group Effort (RAGE) raises R260 000 to date
Johannesburg –RAGE has unveiled four specially-designed trailers, developed with funds raised through a TW Steel initiative, to be used in the fight against rhino poaching.
The tailor-made trailers will be covertly deployed with Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) personnel to undisclosed locations in reserves on the western side of the Kruger National Park as well as in the Eastern Cape.
TW Steel, the global lifestyle brand ‘Big in Oversized Watches’, is proud to announce that its fundraising initiative, launched in September 2013, has raised R260,000 to date.
‘The Watch in Steel’ brand produced a limited four-model collection based on its popular Canteen Style timepieces; incorporating the RAGE logo and sold exclusively through a dedicated web-store with retail proceeds donated directly to RAGE. Mobile vs static anti-poaching operations
RAGE Director Pelham Jones says the trailers have been developed as mobile pickets: “Once infiltration onto a reserve is recognised, an APU team is deployed to the area on a covert basis - moving into the region in the late afternoon or at night.”
Previously, operational teams were placed in reserves at static picket points. These are existing structures featuring ablution facilities. Jones points out that poachers have been avoiding these known areas: “We are now taking the problem to the enemy. We know where the hot zones are, based on intelligence from spoor, sightings of incoming groups, the sound of gunshots or the discovery of rhino already killed. We move the APU team in fast. We don’t want them to waste time moving from the static picket to their area of deployment. We want them to be able to leave their picket and be operational immediately.” The trailers
The self-sustaining trailers are equipped with a solar panel, providing power to three deep-cycle batteries, which in turn charge radios, maintaining communication lines.
A freezer also runs off the system, benefitting personnel deployed in extremely high temperatures of 38 to 40 degrees, keeping their food supplies cold. A panel on the trailer unfolds into a gas stove for cooking purposes. Gas is used as opposed to wood fires, to keep the team’s footprint to a minimum so as not to warn poachers of their presence.
The space inside the trailers is used for storing food, water, bedding and tents.
Teams of 6 to 10 members are sustained for a period of up to 10 days before being re-supplied or re-deployed elsewhere. RAGE thanks TW Steel for their contribution
RAGE has thanked TW Steel for its enduring support in this and other initiatives.
Jones says: “It’s wonderful to see the private sector assist in providing these kinds of resources and funds. The total cost of protecting rhino on an annual basis runs into approximately R1billion. Without assistance from enterprises like TW Steel, we would have lost even more rhino.”
Official TW Steel agents for South Africa, Luxco Importers, has been pleased to facilitate the initiative. Luxco Sales Manager Gary Hopkins says: “TW Steel believe that putting an end to the rhino poaching scourge is vital and are delighted to be part of this initiative.” The project continues
To offer your support, purchase one of these limited edition TW Steel Rhino RAGE watches on www.twsteelrhinorage.co.za
The watches can also be purchased using eBucks through www.ebucks.com
50% of the proceeds go to RAGE.