Toyota is a major supporter of the PWT and our various projects, and their support started with the first Rhino Notchings that Toyota SA attended in Pilanesberg in 2017. From there a natural love of rhinos drew the parties together and John Thomson, VP Future Toyota of Toyota SA, committed himself to the support of the Pilanesberg rhinos and the PWT.
Initial support came in the form of covering the cost of services of all the Toyota vehicles doing rhino work – this support has seen a saving of close to R500 000.00 to date. The total value of the service plans for all vehicles is R1.5mil and ongoing. In addition to this, Toyota also spent R500 000.00 on getting vehicles to an operational level. Toyota South Africa has also donated two Hilux vehicles (one was rebuilt by our Monitor dealers) for the use of rhino projects. These vehicles donations amount to a value of R750 000.00. Early in 2022, Toyota also donated R700 000.00 to the PWT for various rhino projects during the year. This brings the total support to around R 3.5 mil. Toyota has also brought Vodacom, Netstar, and Altron Group on board in various ways, mainly in terms of support for the anti-poaching operations in Pilanesberg.
Toyota has also participated in numerous rhino notchings in Pilanesberg, with most of the dealerships participating. The rhino notchings are a means of fundraising for the PWT, and of aiding the management of rhino populations in the park. Funds raised from rhino notching go to the actual costs on the day, such as the vet and helicopter, and any funds remaining are used for rhino operations in Pilanesberg where Park Management is not able to assist with their budget. The impact of the support from Toyota is truly immeasurable in terms of value. The Rhino Protection Unit and the Park Management are eternally grateful for the support offered by Toyota and its affiliates.