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Media Release: SANParks contributes towards the future scientists
Date: 29th April 2014
On Friday, 25 April 2014 South African National Parks (SANParks) handed over a science laboratory to Setsoto Intermediate School in QwaQwa, in the eastern Free State. The school is one of the beneficiaries of SANParks’ CSI initiatives that aim to benefit those communities that live adjacent to the park and was chosen because of its proximity to Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
Addressing all invited guests at the launch, including the Deputy Director General of Education in the Free State Mr Fani Sithole, SANParks’ Managing Executive: Parks Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa said “We as SANParks get excited each time we deliver a project such as this to the community. Our parks all over are doing well merely because of the people staying closer to them and this is our way of giving back to those communities.”
Over and above, she spoke about SANParks’ involvement in the institutions of Higher Learning “the relationship with the FET colleges especially the Qwaqwa campus has grown over time. We have now entered into an agreement to offer experiential learning at our Golden Gate hotel for their hospitality students especially chefs who need practical skills. This is another way we are trying to live out our vision statement of ‘connecting to society”.
The ME concluded her address by inviting all learners to consider careers in conservation and become part of SANParks in the future. “We have a lot of career opportunities that range from veterinary scientists to researchers that await all learners who are interested.”
“Although this school is not a high school, we hope that the learners that are produced at Setsoto will go out there and outsmart other learners because of the opportunity presented to them. I have no doubt whatsoever that the possibilities and opportunities presented by this new facility to learners and teachers are infinite”. She concluded.
In his response Mr Sithole said “With this wonderful partnership that we have with SANParks, the department wants to ensure that the laboratory is put to good use. It is just a building which needs to be utilised to ensure its effectiveness otherwise it will remain just a building” he further thanked the parents who turned up in numbers to witness this occasion for interest shown in their children’ education.
SANParks charges 1% Community Levy on all reservations for accommodation and activities in order to fund projects that support the surrounding communities.
Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa, Managing Executive: Parks at SANParks, with Deputy Director General of the Free State Education Department, Mr Fani Sithole, officially unveiled the plaque.
The jubilant school children inside the newly opened laboratory.
South African National Parks (SANParks) Northern Region Communications
Tel: 012 426 5403
SANParks Regional Communications Manager: Northern Region
Tel: 012 426-5403; Cell: 074 588 5789