AFTER the much-publicised death of former KZNPO musician and resident, Simon Milliken, on 31 August at Burman Bush, the municipality met last Thursday to discuss security initiatives the nature reserve.
At the meeting, Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said the City had allocated R5 million to replace the fencing enclosure at Burman Bush, which is in a serious state of disrepair. He noted that Milliken’s death had not been the first at Burman Bush as a resident had been killed at the reserve four years ago. A year later, there was another murder at the reserve and the stabbing of a staff member.
Ngcobo said four additional 24-hour security personnel would be employed to work with the two existing rangers at the reserve. Visitors must sign in and out of the reserve with a new closing time of 6pm.
“We are under siege through crime. There is crime in all our reserves and parks which we are responsible for. We need to act on this reserve because of where it is situated and as it has historically been affected by crime. We are in the process of turning Burman Bush into one of the tourist destinations in Durban. We need to take action to protect the area now.” Adding that the department would also be engaging in conservancy, which Councillor Meyer has been responsible in initiating. He said the conservancy, The Friends of Burman Bush, would help manage the reserve.
“Together with the community we will then manage this reserve as they will bring to our attention things they see in the reserve and how this area should be managed,”said Ngcobo.
Suggestions brought up at the meeting, like having a hotline people could call in cases of emergency at Burman Bush, would be discussed at a forum at Durban ICC on 25 September.
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