Excitement is mounting for the World of Beer (WOB) golf day this Friday, August 31, as celebrities, sporting stars, golf enthusiasts and beer lovers get ready to hit the fairway for a great cause.
This year, proceeds from the day will go towards a new rhino conservation project championed by South African cricket legend Mark Boucher.
Boucher was appointed as SAB’s Castle Lager Rhino ambassador, and he hopes to raise funds both locally and abroad through the “Our Rhinos in Safe Hands” campaign, which will be launched in the next few weeks.
In 2011, 448 rhinos were poached and the figure for 2012 stands at more than 240. While a number of arrests have been made in connection with this illegal activity, the problem persists.
“It’s a great privilege for South Africa to be home to some of the world’s most remarkable wildlife species and we all need to take our responsibility as their custodians very seriously and contribute our voices and our muscle towards protecting them,” said Boucher.
“Wildlife has always been a passion of mine and for a long time I have been working on the idea of dedicating my retirement to making a difference in this regard. I now have the opportunity to contribute something meaningful towards a cause that is close to the hearts of my fellow South Africans.”
The NPC aims to raise enough money to register South Africa’s 18 000 rhinos on the DNA database, established and run by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria in Onderstepoort. The initial target is to raise R1 million.
The DNA system will not only manage the rhino population, but will also assist in prosecuting offenders by linking the crime scene to the recovered horn.
While the NPC will initially focus on its most pressing concern, namely the safety of South Africa’s rhino, it is expected to expand its reach to other species under threat, whose DNA will be included in the database.
“SAB has a long history of investing in wildlife conservation in the country,” says Andre Fourie, head of sustainable development at SAB.
“This specific project aims to put in place a sound management system to protect the vulnerable rhino population. For SAB it makes sense to combine the broad popularity of the Castle Lager brand and the personal passion and integrity of Mark Boucher in the fight against rhino poaching.”
The WOB/Our Rhinos in Safe Hands golf day kicks off on Friday at the Houghton Golf Club. Follow us on Twitter for more.
A big “thank you!” to everyone showing their support for this initiative, be it on the day or behind the scenes! See you on the course.