Hi and welcome
Ok , lets get the ball rolling .
-Should SANParks be involved in education when there is a much larger mandate already filled by the education dept
Yes , because the education department does precious little to address anything to do with our national parks or conservation , it was like that when I was at school , and is still like that now that my kids are at school.
They are more interested in popular history (And dare I say low level political propaganda) and there take on nature is more of a botanical one , very often on things that are taken from overseas studies .
- why should SANParks be involved in community conservation in communities bordering parks? are they into conservation or social welfare? There are government and non-government organisations already doing that.
They are probably into social wlfare , but I reckon an ultimate goal would be to turn these community's into conservation nuts , because they have learned about the benefits .
I don't just mean benefits in the form of hand outs , or money in the pocket , but even just the villages looking more beautiful and being more healthy due to conserving of trees in the area instead of utilizing them for firewood , getting rid of the myths like for instance "owls are evil magical birds" and where these birds are killed because of this belief , rather than realising it is a highly beneficial creature in terms of rodent and other pest control .
I think this is a very important area , especially considering that Kruger shares almost 300KM of border fence with the neighboring community's .
- Youth development. Again, is that not the mandate of government through initiatives such as the National Youth Services programme?
Youth development in terms of conservation and teaching as stated above - yes , but to try further unrelated development is going further than the mandate of SANparks .
- Cultural heritage. Whose heritage? and where does this link with the initiatives of the Ministry of Cultural heritage?
Difficult one , and I am not sure to be honest , what are peoples cultural beliefs in wildlife - To be honest , everyones cultural history was not that great for wildlife (It was ok when there where a couple of billion people less , and a couple of million more animals )
I reckon a new culture of protecting the wildlife should take precedence over the older cultures like the "great white hunter" or the killing of lions to celebrate manhood , the wearing of leopard skins by village chieftains , the association with certain animals that they are bad creatures (The belief that hyenas carry the spirits of the dead , or as I stated above about owls) etc etc .