With drones being associated with mapping and surveying, what other applications can better the lives of people?
South Africa has many problems with security in public areas but the Joburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) have purchased drones to monitor safety and nature reserves remotely. The drones will be used to survey parks, the zoo itself and the city’s many nature reserves.
Alan Buff, head of the JPCZ Green Academy responsible for training and innovation, said drones were the answer and would save a lot of time, manpower and money.
There are many uses for these drones in the department, he said. “For instance, if we are doing animal counts in the reserves and notice some animals missing, we can send up the drone to find them instead of sending out teams on foot to look for them. Also if there is a sick animal, we can get the drone close by and get a vet to do a basic assessment of what medical assistance is required.”
Another area they can be used for is for general maintenance of the department’s assets.
“For instance, we can send up a drone to survey the roofs of our buildings to see what maintenance is needed.”
Other uses for the drones are to conduct tree surveys, to monitor safety and poaching in parks, to check fences around parks and cemeteries, to monitor invasive alien vegetation and, in the case of fires, to view their extent.
“This will eliminate the need to send in teams who would have to walk to get into certain areas, which can take days.”
In the past, the department would have to hire a helicopter at great cost to do these things. JCPZ managing director Bulumko Nelana said the drones could be used to enhance service delivery.“These are real-time eyes in the sky for us, helping to identify problem areas and do surveys much faster than manually.”
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- With thanks to iol.co.za