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Media Release: Second Annual Kudu Awards Honour Excellence in Conservation

Date: 2006-06-30

Yesterday, 29 June 2006, marks the second year of South African National Parks’ (SANParks) Kudu Awards to honour excellence in contributions towards conservation at a prestigious event held at The Castle in Kyalami.

The Kudu awards were launched by the Chief Executive, Dr David Mabunda, at an inaugural event last year in June, and are an awaited annual celebration in the industry. Essentially, the award aims to recognise and acknowledge all SANParks staff, stakeholders and the community, who have made a meaningful and significant contribution to conservation and the organisation.

This year five external awards are given out to Ephraim Sibiya, in recognition of his commitment to taking and exposing ‘conservation to learners’, HEAL Houtboschloop Environmental Action Link, in recognition of its commitment to taking ‘conservation to the people.’    

“What is exciting for me to note this year is the tremendous improvement in the quality of the entries”, said Dr Mabunda, Chief Executive of SANParks.

The media contribution award is presented to Guy Rogers of The Herald, in recognition of his commitment to exposing and reporting on conservation in a fair and unbiased manner, and a special award  is presented to Dirk Nel, who receives his award posthumously in recognition of his lifelong commitment to reporting on conservation matters. The Corporate Contributor award is presented to Pick n Pay in recognition of thier corporate contribution to numerous projects and initiatives including ‘Kids in Parks’.    

“The organisation is very proud to announce the posthumous presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Oom Vet Piet (Karel Kleinman), whose bush tracking abilities are still unparalleled”, said Mabunda.

The Park of the Year Award 2006 is given to Mapungubwe National Park, in recognition of proactive conservation management in respect to rehabilitation and elephant management. The park is also recognised for exceeding targets on tourism income to cost ratios, and local constituency building for the newly established park, with a resulting 60.5% black visitor component. 

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