Original Research

'Police boys' and poachers: Africans, wildlife protection and national parks, the Transvaal 1902 to 1950

Jane Carruthers
Koedoe | Vol 36, No 2 | a371 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v36i2.371 | © 1993 Jane Carruthers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 September 1993 | Published: 17 September 1993

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Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

The concentration on pure scientific research in the Kruger National Park has resulted in a neglect of a humanistic approach to nature conservation issues. The lack of human and political dimensions in important scientific contributions are serious short-comings in the light of present politico-environmental concerns. The impact of race and class on wildlife protection needs to be integrated. Scientifically sound but culturally chauvinistic protectionist strategies have been imposed upon disadvantaged African communities unable to articulate or formulate alternatives. African participation has usually either been ignored or relegated to patronizing and oversimplified accounts of Africans in the roles of 'native rangers' or 'poachers'. This police-poacher view is countered by an over-simplified African perception of national parks as being of benefit only to elitist white recreation. These divergent perceptions have important implications for the future of nature protection in South Africa.

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