The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says that it is deeply concerned by reports of attacks by wild animals, including hippos, on members of the public and livestock. File photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says that it is deeply concerned by reports of attacks by wild animals on members of the public and livestock in the north of the province, following a fatal attack by a hippopotamus on a man in Hluhluwe. 

The party said that it had been reported that a man identified as Mbuyiseni Nxumalo died after he had been attacked by a hippopotamus in Hluhluwe, while the community of Ntandabantu in Mtubatuba had complained about being harassed by elephants roaming the area after escaping from a nearby game reserve. 

“According to locals, their livestock has also been attacked by wild animals. Any injury or attack by wild animals to the members of the public is a cause for serious concern.

“As the ANC in the province, we are worried about this situation as it poses a serious danger to communities living next to game reserves as well as their livestock which is the backbone of their livelihood,” the party said in a statement. 

"In the same vein we fully appreciate the fact that wildlife has a wide range of ecological, economic and cultural importance in relation to human existence,” said Ricardo Mthembu, ANC KZN spokesperson.

He said that they were fully cognisant of the fact that wildlife was also the cornerstone of tourism and that it was important that the human and animal bond was nurtured for the wellbeing of both.

The party also called upon the relevant authorities to ensure that the concerns of the communities were addressed as a matter of urgency to prevent any further possible and unnecessary loss of life and that the people’s livestock was protected.

“We applaud Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Cde Nomusa Dube-Ncube’s efforts to resolve a number of issues raised by members of the community in the respective areas.  

 “We also appreciate the fact that Cde Dube-Ncube has already met with representatives of the Tembe Traditional Council under Inkosi Mabhudu Tembe as well as the management of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to the issues related to the entity's animals which are habitats of iSimangaliso Wetlands Park,” Mthembu said. 

He added that the party was pleased to note that Ezemvelo was also working to resolve these issues where the cohabitation between the animals and the people was managed in a proper legal manner.