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University of South Africa (2016)

Understanding the attitudes and perceptions of South African residents towards anti-rhino poaching initiatives : a study in Bloemfontein, Free State province, South Africa

Gyimah, Issah

Titre : Understanding the attitudes and perceptions of South African residents towards anti-rhino poaching initiatives : a study in Bloemfontein, Free State province, South Africa

Auteur : Gyimah, Issah

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Master of Science (MS) in Environmental Management 2016

Résumé
This dissertation reports on the findings of a study conducted in order to understand the impact of the attitudes and perceptions of some residents in Bloemfontein, towards rhino poaching and anti-rhino poaching initiatives in South Africa. Prominent theoretical models, such as the theory of reasoned action (TRA), the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), the decomposed theory of planned behaviour (DTPB), and the Rosenberg and Hovland Tripartite model of attitudes and perceptions, were used to help understand Bloemfontein residents’ attitudes and perceptions towards rhino poaching and anti-rhino poaching ini-tiatives in South Africa. Data was collected from residents in areas such as the Central University of Technology, the University of the Free State, the Waterfront Mall and the Mimosa Mall, respectively. A total of 252 usable responses were obtained, and the sta-tistical package for social sciences (SPSS) as well as a descriptive statistical instrument, were used to analyse the data. The findings of the study revealed that residents’ attitudes and perceptions to-wards rhino poaching and anti-rhino poaching initiatives contribute significantlytowards their intentions to act positively or negatively in curbing or reducing rhino poaching crime in South Africa. The research findings also showed that while there are differences in attitudes and perceptions between residents across different demographic groups, demographic factors alone are weak predictors of residents’ attitudes and perceptions towards rhino poaching. The study found that perceived trust, practical approaches, intentions to act and effective community involvement significantly contribute to residents’ positive attitudes and perceptions towards anti-rhino poaching initiatives in South Africa. The implications of other factors such as corruption, economic challenges, willingness of the authorities to act, and the heightened demand for rhino horn trade, have been discussed, and suggestions for future research are made.

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