Ekurhuleni mayor wants the metro to have its own zoo

Mayor Mzwandile Masina says Ekurhuleni is the only metro in the province that does not have a zoo. File image of Johannesburg Zoo: iStock

Mayor Mzwandile Masina says Ekurhuleni is the only metro in Gauteng that does not have a zoo and believes establishing one will benefit residents.

The Ekurhuleni metro might soon have its own zoo, but the matter is still under consideration.

This was revealed at the latest council meeting at the Germiston Council Chambers, reports Boksburg Advertiser.

During mayor Mzwandile Masina’s speech, he also said that a 9-metre bronze statue of Oliver Tambo would be unveiled outside OR Tambo International in the next few weeks after recently attaining approval from Airports Company SA and the minister of transport.

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The possibility of establishing a zoo in the metro was put forward at the recent mayoral lekgotla.

“Our metro is the only city in Gauteng that does not have a zoo. The establishment of the metro zoo will promote entertainment and leisure profile for the benefit of our residents,” Masina said.

The idea has been strongly opposed by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Reacting to the mayor’s speech, the DA’s Phillip de Lange said the metro failed to look after the rabbits at the Benoni Bunny Park, so having a zoo in Ekurhuleni was a bad idea.

Responding to de Lange’s objection, Masina said he was not asking for permission but making an announcement.

However, animal rights organisation Ban Animal Trading (BAT) has said that they were not aware of any application submitted by the metro to build a zoo, and would be monitoring the “announcement” closely.

Residents also seem opposed to the idea, with the majority of social media users on a BAT Facebook post saying that there was definitely not a need for a zoo in the metro, and highlighted that there should be a push for less caged animals, not more.

Some even went so far as to call the mayor’s sanity into question.

Updates will follow as more information is made available.

(Additional reporting by Nica Schreuder)

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