According to a recent report released by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), 508 rhino were poached in South Africa in 2018.

In response to this scourge, and in an effort to help combat this challenge, Vodacom and Celcom have thrown their weight behind the fight against rhino poaching by introducing an innovative security measure for the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape.

This includes the provision of mobile devices that have been programmed with a Cmore application software to help protect the Park from poachers. The smart-phones have been enabled with real-time tracking of rangers out in the veld which is crucial in protecting their safety and security. The application also allows rangers to enter information such as poaching incidents, poacher sightings, carcass locations or logging a patrol.

The theme for Earth Day 2019 is “Protect Our Species”. It aims to draw attention to the rapid extinction of species in our world today, which is directly linked to human activities. These include deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution, and use of pesticides.

Addo Elephant National Park, Conservation Manager, John Adendorff says: “In the Addo scenario, ranger teams need the ability to detect events, follow forces in the field, collaborate between one another and receive rapid feedback. The Cmore enabled cell-phones will be issued per two-man patrol and will be switched on automatically to monitor the rangers’ positions, who are able to plot any incidents they come across in the field on the system. If needed, additional forces can be deployed immediately, effectively and precisely through GPS co-ordinates.”

The application was developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and is an innovative technology tool that is based on modern web and mobile technology. In essence, Cmore is a comprehensive portal which allows for in-depth search and visualisation of all Cmore related devices such as tracking, incidents, positions of interest and resources. This technology not only reduces risk to the rangers, it also ensures more proactive engagement and the utilisation of resources in a cost-effective manner.

Vodacom Eastern Region, Executive Head: CBU Sales and Marketing, Travis Goate says: “In keeping with our commitment to ensure that we use our technology to change lives, this partnership with Celcom and Addo Elephant National Park is a perfect demonstration of the transformative power of technology. These innovations are one of many which show Vodacom’s commitment to connect for a better future. Vodacom is deeply committed to the protection of the planet and have built our sustainable business strategy on the premise that the success of our business is closely linked to thriving communities and healthy natural environments.

In addition, we have aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which we use to guide our efforts in social upliftment and environmental protection programmes.