New rangers take pride in the environment

Four youngsters graduated as rangers from the Cape Flats Tourism and Environmental Development Association (TEDA) course run at Wolfgat Nature Reserve’s Environmental Education Centre in Tafelsig, on Friday June 30.

The association, a non-profit organisation, established in 2008, assists the City of Cape Town’s biodiversity management branch with its eco-tourism needs at Wolfgat Nature Reserve and Macassar Dunes Conservation Area.

The organisation also helps the sports, recreation and amenities department to market their facilities and youth development needs.

Chief executive officer of the association, Selwyn Kondowe, said their core business functions were eco-tourism development and management. “Our role is to protect and conserve our natural heritage through education. We also want to empower our local community through creating business opportunities and skills development programmes,” he said.

Mr Kondowe said they ran volunteer and community development programmes such as life skills, soft skills development training, hikes and environmental education programmes at schools – and they have an active ranger patrol unit which works in the reserve.

These rangers complete a three-month programme which includes basic patrolling, field ranger duty, monitoring and research.

Kyle Alias, from Strandfontein, said he enjoyed the programme and found it interesting.

“It was an exciting programme, that taught me how to approach nature and how to conserve. When volunteering, it allowed to me really see what I would like to do in this industry. So its safe to say, if you enjoy volunteering in the industry, then you’re in the right job.

“Through this programme, I am able to enable the community to take pride in nature,” he said.

Sheval Arendse, chairperson for Sub-council 12 and councillor for Ward 82, which the reserve forms part of, said he would like to congratulate the four rangers who had the courage and determination to complete the course.

“I also want to call on youth who are unable to find work, to contact TEDA and enrol themselves in the programme. If you have a Grade 8 or 12 certificate, you are most welcome to apply.”

Call 021 392 5134 or 021 397 2629 for more information.