The Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park (KNP), Mr Abe Sibiya would like to warn members of the public, business community and staff members to be on the lookout for people who falsely and publicly claim to represent the KNP on various aspects of its business.
“It has come to our attention that there are online forums operating and claiming to represent the South African National Parks (SANParks), in particular the KNP by offering customer care facilities that discuss conservation and tourism related matters for guests. We would like to put it on record that SANParks already has its own established formal procedures and channels for handling guest feedback and does not need a third party to deal with issues on its behalf,” he said.
These people cite, in their online forums that their customer care facility is meant to assist with reporting of issues e.g. incidents or complaints concerning the National Parks; therefore complementing the organization’s existing channels. The administrators of these forums encourage the public either through own forum or media that issues such as complaints and queries should be posted on their forum. They then in turn approach staff members at the relevant parks/camps whom they can manage to get hold of, for a follow-up and feedback.
Of much concern is that these online operators also claim on their forums, that they raise funds for various conservation causes which they hand over to the SANParks Honorary Rangers; though not giving any legal explanation as to why they would do such.
“SANParks has a healthy relationship and a direct contact with the Honorary Rangers which again would not need any third party; and therefore would like to advise members of the public to resist any illegal fund raising approaches made in SANParks’ name as we believe this action constitutes fraud,” continued Sibiya.
Sibiya further warned everybody to check the credentials of the person/s who claim to represent SANParks/KNP before contributing anything of monetary value to them.
“Our employees are aware that only authorized and designated staff members can represent or speak on behalf of SANParks on any particular matter however we cannot prevent them or any member of the public from joining these online forums in their individual capacity;” concluded Sibiya.
To submit feedback on SANParks, customers should use the official online web addresses as follows:
• Complaints, compliments and queries on http://www.sanparks.org/about/contact/
• Website queries on http://www.sanparks.org/webmaster/contactform.php
• If one would like to join and take part in the SANParks.org Forum, the link is here
For previous media statements please go to www.sanparks.orgIssued by:
Public Relations Division, Kruger National Park
Reynold Thakhuli – GM: Media Liaison & Stakeholder Relations, SANParks, Tel: (012) 426 5170, Cell: 073 373 4999, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa – HOD Public Relations, Kruger National Park, Tel: 013 735 4363, Cell 082 807 3919 e-mail: email@example.com