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HR meet with KNP management
On 3 August 2009, seven members of the Honorary Rangers (HR) met with Mr Abe Sibiya, the Acting Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park (KNP) at Skukuza. Janssen Davies, Chairperson of the NEC of the HR’s led the HR delegation, and Sibiya was assisted by seven of his management members, Dr Freek Venter, William Mabasa, Louis Olivier, Johan Malan, Mbongeni Tukela, Steven Whitfield and Vanessa Strydom. Five of the seven HR ‘s were NEC members.
The meeting began with a talk by Dr Sam Ferreira regarding the news worthy subject of rhinoceros sales by KNP and the subsequent outcry in the press, led by concerned members of the public. Ferreira explained SANPark’s view on the subject, and proved his statements with statistical data, collected over the past almost fifty years. Johan Malan, from the KNP game capture team, who incidentally provided the venue for the meeting as well, was on hand to give clarity on several points. This provided insight into KNP’s policy regarding the rhino’s, and a few members were surprised by the in-depth knowledge and studies that have informed the decision by SANParks.
Sibiya led the rest of the meeting in discussing the way forward between SANPark’s KNP members, and the HR members who serve the KNP, from as far afield as Pretoria, who were represented by their Chairperson, Hercules Swart. The aim was to see how we could align the services that are offered and provided by the HR’s, fit in with what is actually needed and requested by KNP staff.
Strydom was tasked to “clean up” the wish list from KNP to HR’s, and present it to her group who would decide on the priorities of the items. Several items were added to the list during the meeting, and these will be taken back to the various regions represented at the meeting for decision making. The Bushveld region (Piet Andjelkovic), Lowveld region (Grant Coleman), PEAP and Johannesburg region (Allison Esterhuizen) were represented, as were Pretoria region, NTC (John Brankin) and NEC financial (André van der Merwe). Most members were afforded the chance to present to the meeting their contributions, and proposed projects in KNP.
Janssen Davies undertook to supply Sibiya with a list of the skills that is embedded in the HR corps, ranging from the technical skills to lawyers, business executives and teachers. KNP MANCO members would be able to see at a glance what skills are available, and form an idea of the depth of service that the Honorary Rangers could provide.
The meeting was very constructive and a better understanding of the way forward was formed. The group will meet on a bi-annual basis, and the next meeting was scheduled for February 2010.
The HR delegation would like to thank the MANCO of KNP for their hospitality, and the professional conduct of all the members who were involved with the planning and execution of the meeting. This was ably managed by Maureen Gunn and her assistants.