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Sunday, December 9, 2012


(The prototype community craft commission rhino, Yenza in the Durban Art Gallery. Pic by Rogan Ward)

eThekwini Community Foundation is adding its voice to the global battle cry to preserve South Africa’s natural heritage and to this end has formally joined Project Rhino KZN, and has secured a second community craft commission rhino which will be sponsored by the US Consulate in Durban and The Wildlands Conservation Trust.

The ECF is a proactive, not-for-profit public benefit organisation, strategically aligned to the eThekwini Municipality.

“The preservation of much of our natural heritage is in crisis – personified by the ongoing rhino poaching tragedy,” says ECF director Kathryn Kure. "The rhino has become iconic and represents one diminishing species among many. As a Trust whose broad mission is interfacing people – projects – planet, we are aware of the need for a healthy symbiotic relationship between the country’s craft community and our natural heritage. For the crafters to continue to work, there must be systems in place for the sustainability and careful monitoring of our flora and fauna. Traditional crafters typically harvest elements of natural heritage, for example wood, quills, grasses, ilala palms and reeds. The reports of international syndicates who consider our resources to be fair game to be plundered, is alarming.

“A key element in this fragile house-of-cards is the preservation of the rhino,” she continues. ”The Foundation is doing everything in its power to support the rhino campaign. One of our great success stories this year was the commissioning and decorating of Yenza a nearly life-size resin rhino, by a collective of crafters. Yenza has been much in demand, and has played an instrumental role in the conversation to create awareness around rhino poaching.”

ECF has been accepted as an associate member of Project Rhino KZN an association of like-minded organisations allowing collective co-ordination of rhino conservation interventions. The Foundation also partners with and supports the proactive Wildlands Conservation Trust.

“At a Provincial level, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has taken a number of pro-active steps to stop this onslaught on our rhino, including our active involvement in Project Rhino KZN, which is a regional collaborative effort to combat wildlife crime in KZN. The eThekwini Community Foundation (ECF) is a fellow member of this collaboration,” explained Dr Bandile Mkhize: CEO Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

For more information, contact Kathryn Kure at 031 311 2044 / 083 252 0992 or email: or