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People and Conservation
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School children having the experience of a lifetime in a camp full of learning and fun in the bush.
Communities starting to use water more efficiently or planting a food garden. Elders reviving indigenous knowledge about the medicinal use of fynbos.
These are just a few exciting examples of the unique and rewarding work of the People and Conservation specialists of SANParks. Find out more about their community and educational work or have a look at some great projects.
The natural and cultural heritage of the parks should be the pride and joy of everyone. The People and Conservation division creates the crucial connection between the daily work of rangers and the South African people. Talking to people is a core business for SANParks - nowadays just as important as tourism and conservation.
People and Conservation enlarges understanding, support and participation – particularly amongst neighbouring communities and young people. National parks have a bright future in South Africa if they manage to bring local benefits to the people living around the parks, and if they can inspire the youth of today to be the ambitious conservationists of tomorrow.
So what is the mission of the People and Conservation specialists?
Explaining to neighbouring communities what the parks are doing and why is very important and has been neglected in the past. By promoting conservation, improving park access, assisting with environmental initiatives and inviting local people to discuss and cooperate in future policies – the parks are taking up a responsible role in society. Thanks to this people are starting to see their SANParks neighbour as a benefit – and not a burden.
There is no better classroom for conservation lessons than a national park. Every year hundreds of schools visit the parks. Many children see, hear and smell the wonders of nature for the first time and learn a lot in the process. What does an elephant eat? Why is a snake important too? Why should we not litter? From day programmes, to the celebrated Kids in Parks camp to special calendar events: environmental education opens young people’s eyes.
National parks are often hotspots of cultural heritage and play a major role in reviving indigenous knowledge and oral history. Cultural sites draw tourism, but can also enhance SANParks relationship with communities outside the parks. Rock art, Iron Age sites, traditional sacred grounds or an old colonial building: conservation and management of cultural heritage is an equal counterpart of nature conservation.
People and Conservation Directorate
General Manager: People and Conservation
Manager: Environmental Education
Manager: Cultural Heritage
Manager: Community Conservation
Manager: Conservation Awareness
A Brief History
The Social Ecology Unit of SANParks was created in 1995 in order to facilitate positive relationships with local people living adjacent to National Parks.
Between 1997 and 1999 a great deal of effort was invested in building the capacity of the Social Ecology Unit so that they could establish and service various community structures. However, these community structures became centres of conflict on issues of power and access to resources. Furthermore, management marginalized the Social Ecology programme, arguing that it did not fall within the organizations core functions. This resulted in frustrations and a lack of well-defined paths for Social Ecologists, which resulted in high staff turn over, and eventually a near collapse of the Social Ecology programme.
The current emphasis on “People and Parks” and “Benefits Beyond Boundaries” highlights the important role which SANParks has to play with regard to issues around sustainable economic development.
After several strategic workshops and the input of independent consultants (McKinsey) it was decided to create a Directorate which would deal specifically with the people / Parks interface.
This new Directorate, called People and Conservation, was established in August 2003 and aims to proudly instill values of stewardship of the environment, and raise awareness about conservation issues.
The Directorate concentrates its constituency building efforts on schools, communities around parks, employees and the general South African public, thus far with great success.
People & Conservation Directorate
General Manager: People and Conservation
Manager: Environmental Education
Manager: Cultural Heritage
Manager: Community Conservation
Manager: Conservation Awareness
From the spectacular African history of Mapungubwe Hill or the famous red-and-white lighthouse at Africa’s southernmost point in Agulhas to the storytelling of the Nama people – conservation and exhibition of cultural heritage lies very much at the heart of SANParks activities.
Many known historical sites can be found in national parks and some are already open for the public. However, a lot of cultural sites, rock art shelters, burial grounds and historical buildings still need to be identified and protected-and People and Conservation play a active role in this.
Besides their role as custodians sites of cultural and historical significance, People and Conservation promotes indigenous knowledge and facilitates the traditional passing on of oral history. Not only will all of this boost national pride and the rediscovery of lost identities – it also opens up opportunities for increased tourism, improved relations with communities, education and job creation.
Current opportunities for cultural tourism include
Archaeological sites – The historical wonders of Mapungubwe can be admired by booking a guided heritage tour. Popular sites in Kruger National Park include Thulamela and Masorini. Most other parks also have a variety of Stone Age and Iron Age sites.
Rock art – Impressive and very old rock art was left by San and Khoekhoen throughout South Africa. Parks like Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site, Tsitsikamma Area of the Garden Route National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and Kruger National Park offer opportunities to visit those shelters.
Historical buildings – From remnants of old kingdoms to old colonial buildings and the Agulhas Lighthouse.
Ancestral graves – Can be found in most parks.
Historical war sites – Battlegrounds of the Anglo-Boer war can be found in Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
Traditional storytelling – Oral history associated with specific sites, indigenous fauna and flora is important in for example Namaqua National Park, Richtersveld National Park, and Augrabies Falls National Park.
Local Cultural Experiences – Indigenous music, dance and other cultural performances are sometimes offered by cultural groups in various parks.
For more information – send an e-mail to Edgar Neluvhalani, Manager: Cultural Heritage
Support our Cutural Heritage Programme
SANParks acknowledges South Africa’s rich and diverse tangible and intangible cultural heritage and is committed to ensuring the safeguarding of this heritage in the areas under its jurisdiction.
The main purpose of this programme is to conceptualise, plan, strengthen and oversee implementation of Cultural Resource Management and Indigenous Knowledge in all National parks. Want to know more about this programme and how you can help, click here.
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Working with communities and building long term relationships with them involves more than saying hello to each other every day over the fence of a national park!
People and Conservation works hard at building understanding and support for biodiversity conservation within communities living around our parks, and also works on improving how communities can access our national parks for cultural, spiritual and recreational purposes.
People and Conservation also assists communities to decide how to use their natural resources wisely and live sustainable lifestyles.
The community work done by People and Conservation covers a wide variety of projects. Some examples include:
- education and awareness projects
- setting up food gardens
- indigenous nurseries
- interpretation of medicinal plant use
- forest rehabilitation projects
- performing arts and craft projects.
The programmes are usually aimed at communities neighboring the parks, but sometimes people living in the parks – staff, workers from the expanded pulic works projects – are also targeted. An exciting example from Addo Elephant National Park is the Mayibuye Ndlovu Development Trust that grew from a conflict solving body into a partnership for community projects, and Wire Frame Products project in Augrabies Falls National Park
The establishing and managing of Park Forums has recently been one of the biggest leaps forward for SANParks.
Conservation cannot function without involvement of surrounding communities, local stakeholders and other interested and affected parties. Communities are encouraged to actively participate in the management of their local park and raise issues affecting their lives and the environment.
The scope of concern is extensive, particularly in the rural areas and ranges from HIV/aids through to employment, and issues like the security of park fences. Representatives are elected by the community who help to minimize friction between the park and its neighbours.
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Kids in Parks
The Kids in Parks Programme provides a unique opportunity for learners and their educators to visit a national park and learn a lot about natural and cultural heritage.
The three-day programme allows for a loads of discovery, learning and fun for kids.
The programme exposes the importance of a national park to learners from nearby schools – and mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds. The children learn to identify, name and describe the fauna and flora. They learn about biodiversity and how to sustain it.
Special activities make learners aware of the importance of water conservation, a critical area in the country. The overnight camp is also an ideal opportunity to make young people aware of careers in conservation. The kids are housed in dorms. They are provided with three meals a day and educational material.
The Kids in Parks initiative is being phased in over a period of three years. Each year five different parks will welcome ten groups of 50 learners and 2 teachers. This means that eventually a total of 7 500 learners, 300 educators from 150 primary schools will have visited 15 parks.
The programme is a partnership between SANParks, Pick ‘n Pay and the departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and Education (DoE). After the 2003 legislation that phases out plastic shopping bags, Pick ‘n Pay introduced green bags into the market, R1 from every R5 bag has gone to a special environmental fund, which now provides the financial backbone for Kids in Parks.
View fun images in the Kids in Parks picture gallery.
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2010 Morula Kids Competition
Calling all you learners, we want you to use your knowledge and imagination!
Celebrate biodiversity by showing us your talent. Create an artwork showing a truly South African WILDLIFE animal playing soccer, and tell us WHY your animal is the best ballplayer!
How to enter
- Using crayons, coloured pencils, paint or whatever you like, draw a WILDLIFE animal playing soccer.
- The drawing must be done on an A4 page (210mm wide by 297mm long).
- Send your drawing, along with the filled out entry form, to the following
- Morula Kids Competition, SANParks, PO Box 787, Pretoria, 0001
This year has been declared the Year of Biodiversity
Cool Prizes you could win!
- A cellphone from Nashua Mobile with airtime.
- Your own cover picture on GO WILD magazine and many more pictures of you and your friends in the national park.
- A trip to the nearest national park with 4 of your friends accompanied by your school teacher:
- a two night stay at one of our wonderful national parks (including breakfast, lunch and dinner).
- a guided educational tour of the park with a ranger
- a game drive
- access to information about SANParks kids programmmes
- Kuduzelas for you and your friends!!!
- And much, much more....
The Morula Kids Competition is one of various Environmental Education programmes offered by South African National Parks (SANParks), to increase the level of environmental awareness amongst the South African public broadly, and more specifically, learners. This national competition focuses on learners at the General Education and Training Level (GET), particularly those currently in the Foundation and Intermediate Phases. It dares both learners and educators to use their creative skills in the form of art, sculptors, and essays to respond to challenges facing conservation and sustainable use of natural resources within reserves and national parks.
The Marula tree was selected as the official logo for the competition and hence the Morula Kids Competition. This tree was chosen because of its abundance in most African countries. It is one of the important fruit-bearing indigenous trees in South Africa. Apart from also being the tasty food to a host of animals, birds and humans, it is famous for its various uses. It can make very delicious jam, beer and liqueurs using the exotic tasting fruit. It can be used for medicinal purposes and can serve as shade where communities sit and hold their meetings.
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Working with people is a priority for SANParks. The organisation gets its fresh ideas and information that helps to optimize its daily work and decisions from Social Science Research. The quantity and quality of this research in the parks has increased remarkably since the inception of the Social Science Research unit in 2004. In the previous year 41 research projects were conducted on a range of topics including archaeology, womens rights, community/park relations, legislation and the demand for social and spiritual benefits of protected areas.
If you would like to apply to conduct a Social Science Research project in a National Park, please follow the “Research Application Procedure” below, and complete the required form:
Social Science Research is managed from the SANParks Scientific Services Nodes based in both Kimberly and in the Kruger National Park. The Social Science Unit initiates, coordinates and monitors all research which focuses on the interface between people, parks and conservation. It then makes sure the research results find their way to managers and specialists – so it can be used as input for informed decisions in park planning, interventions and development. The unit also promotes and markets Social Science Research in SANParks to researchers and academic institutions and related organizations.
In the past when scientists were doing research on things such as population studies of lions or elephants little consideration was given to the need for studies around the people and parks’ interface. It has only been in the last decade that the importance of engaging with local communities and a whole range of constituencies has come forward. This was highlighted more recently at the World Parks Congress (2003) which was hosted by South Africa. It is now acknowledged worldwide that protected areas can no longer be managed as islands using a ‘fences and fines’ mentality. The future existence of those areas hangs on the ability of local communities and conservation agencies to engage and resolve issues around sustainable development.
In 2003, the Social Science Research Committee was constituted. This body plays a key role in monitoring and ensuring quality research and playing an educational and supportive role to researchers. The members provide SANParks with an excellent networking opportunity and provide guidance and assistance with social science issues. The committee comprises specialists in various fields of social science from a broad range of tertiary education and research institutions including specialists from SANParks' Conservation Services.
For more information, please contact Louise Swemmer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kelly Scheepers (email@example.com), the Programme Managers for Social Science Research in SANParks.
(Adapted with kind permission from the Treehouse Research Programme for People and Conservation)
Research of all kinds—social, biophysical, economic—carries consequences, both negative and positive, to the subjects of the research and others as well.
Social Science Research for People and Conservation has as an overall objective, the production and dissemination of knowledge that ultimately will increase human welfare through enhanced capacity of protected area stewardship. Social Science researchers need to acknowledge that their research will carry consequences and as such must be committed to minimizing the negative consequences to study participants in specific projects. Key to understanding the potential negative consequences of Social Science research is an understanding of the social, political, cultural and biophysical context of individual research projects.
Social Scientists need to recognize that there are varying risks of negative consequences to different subject populations. Social Scientists must ensure that study participants are made aware of any risks attendant to specific studies. To that end, researchers must commit to addressing and reducing risks and to informing potential respondents of such risks, and to gaining consent from study participants prior to the use of interviews and questionnaires.
To promote ethical social science research, Social Scientists should commit themselves to the following:
a. participation by selected elements of a study population is voluntary; subjects will be asked if they are willing to participate;
b. no harm will be done to study participants; in addition, given the disparities in capacity in the South African society, researchers have a responsibility to, where ever possible and appropriate, to reasonably empower research subjects, at least in terms of their confidence and understanding.
c. Social Scientists will seek informed consent from selected subjects.
d. Social Scientists will act to ensure in their data collection, analysis and display methodologies that respondent data is kept both confidential and anonymous;
e. Social Scientists will act to ensure that researchers and interviewers in projects are trained in ethical responsibilities;
f. Findings of studies will be peer reviewed prior to release and publication; limitations to the study will be described; and the study respondents will be provided an opportunity to view findings.
The Social Science Researcher should recognize that an ethical code of conduct to guide social research is only as robust in as far as it is brought to bear in the research process. The research should therefore ensure that any study proposal and/or study plan will demonstrate an awareness of potential harmful consequences or risks of the proposed research and how the researcher will deal with them.
Finally, Social Science Researchers should agree to follow this statement of ethical principles (word document):
The Principle of Due Consideration of Consequences
In the planning of research, researchers should consider the foreseeable consequences of their research. The ability to reasonably predict the consequences of social research will rely on an understanding of the context of the research subjects. Due diligence on the part of the researchers should therefore be shown in terms of understanding the context and the anticipated research consequences within the given context. Due diligence facilitates attention to fairness towards research subjects in the planning phase of the research.
The Principle of Respect and Protection
Research should preferably be undertaken with, and not merely on, the identified community. Research should be conducted with respect for the dignity and self-esteem of the individual and for basic human rights.
Research and the pursuit of knowledge should never be regarded as the supreme goal at the expense of participants' personal, social and cultural values.
The researcher must respect the autonomy and protect the welfare of all participants, and must therefore obtain the informed consent of the participants. This consent should be given in writing where necessary, according to accepted guidelines, especially if the research is of a sensitive nature. The researcher should be concerned particularly about the rights and interests of more vulnerable participants, such as children, the aged and the disabled. In general, all research must observe the international norms of avoiding harm, providing benefit wherever possible and acting justly.
Constitutionally, a ‘child’ means a person under the age of 18 years. Research that can equally well be done with adults should never be done with children. However, where children are the participants, legal consent should be given in writing by either the parents, guardian, or custodian - whenever possible, on the understanding that the child has the freedom to withdraw from the research at any stage.
The researcher should respect the right of individuals to refuse to participate in research and to withdraw their participation at any stage. Participation in research requires informed, uncoerced consent of participants. Researchers should inform participants, in language they can understand, of the aims and implications of the research project and of any other considerations which might reasonably be expected to influence their willingness to participate.
Information obtained in the course of research that may reveal the identity of a participant or an institution should be treated as confidential unless the participant or institution agrees to its release. Research findings relating to specific individuals, institutions and organisations should be reported in a way that protects the personal dignity and right to privacy of participants. Furthermore, whenever methodologically feasible, participating individuals and institutions should be allowed to respond anonymously or under a pseudonym to protect their privacy. The researcher should be constantly aware that the research might prejudice the position of research participants if measures are not taken to prevent such prejudice.
Participants may be suitably recompensed on condition that all participants are offered similar rewards and that such rewards are related to the sacrifices required of them to make their contribution, e.g. transport costs, meals, and tokens of appreciation, thereby observing the norms of justice and the avoidance of detriment.
The Principle of Transparency
Before undertaking any research the researcher should ensure that the participants are clearly briefed on the aims and implications of the research as well as the possible outcomes and benefits of the research. Participants should also be informed of any additional factors that might reasonably be expected to influence their willingness to participate.
Should the methodology of a research project necessitate the concealment of information, the researcher should before conducting such a study determine whether the use of such a methodology is justified by the project's prospective scientific, educational or applied value, determine whether alternative procedures that do not require the concealment of information could be used instead, and ensure that the participants are given the reasons for the concealment of information as soon as is practically possible.
In the communication of their findings, researchers should subscribe to the principles of honesty, transparency and scrutiny by the public and their peers.
No financial or other inducement should be offered to participants, whether children or adults, or parents/guardians of children, to ensure a particular research result.
The Principle of Scientific and Academic Professionalism
Researchers should conduct their research, if applicable, in accordance with the professional code of the association of which they are members.
Researchers should not misuse their positions or knowledge as researchers for personal power or gain.
Researchers should at all times strive to achieve the highest possible level of scientific quality in their research.
For more information
- E-mail to Kevin Moore, Manager: Conservation Awareness
Current Research Projects
- The Global Vision International and SANParks partnership has continued to provide top quality volunteers to the People and Conservation Units in Parks. The number of volunteers has doubled in the past year. An internship opportunity was created for members of the Richtersveld Community Conservancy in West Coast and Table Mountain National Parks to gain insight into Park management implementation.
- Twenty-two Social Science Research projects were approved for implementation by University researchers in the following Parks: Agulhas (1), Bontebok (1), Golden Gate (1), Kruger (8), Kgalagadi (3), Mapungubwe (2), Namaqua (1), Tsitsikamma (1), West Coast (1), Wilderness (1), Multi Park (2).
- Five internal research studies were initiated internally.
- The Treehouse project, which is a partnership between the Universities of Montana and KwaZulu Natal and SANParks, provided an additional fourteen, postgraduate, People and Conservation focused studies in Parks.
- The Transboundary Protected Areas Initiative (TPARI) conference “Social Research for Protected Areas” was hosted in Skukuza by TPARI, IUCN, NRF and SANParks. Participants included senior researchers, (National and International), local Community representatives, academics, GO’s and NGO’s.
- The 4th Kruger National Park Science Networking Meeting was held in Skukuza. The theme was “Understanding the future” and was hosted by SANParks and SAEON. This included the presentation of nine Social Science Research projects in Parks.
- One internal academic research paper and five popular research articles were researched and written up.
- Social Science Research opportunities and priorities, within the discipline of People and Conservation in SANParks, were promoted through conferences, tele-seminars and presentations to prospective researchers with particular emphasis on enabling access to Parks for research by students who come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
Examples of Current Social Science Research in SANParks
Algotsson, E.M. Wildlife conservation through people centred approaches to natural resource management and the control of Wildlife exploitation – Kruger and surrounding communities.
Arthur, C. Archaeological Survey of Bontebok National Park.
Dressler, D. Evaluating CBNRM along the Western boundary of GLTP, South Africa.
Hansen, H.S. Community Perceptions of the TEBA recruitment centre in Pafuri and the development of a public Cultural Heritage site in the GLTNP.
Kendal, A. Palaeolithic archaeology of the Geelbek Dunes, West Coast National Park.
Konrad, R. Peace Parks in Southern Africa and its influence on local, national and international relations – on the example of the Kgalaadi conservation area.
Karlsson, A. Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities of Women to Access Land through Land Reform in South Africa. – A case study of the Khomani San CPA and the effective participation of San Women.
Manyaka, M. The role of EE in promoting sustainable management of natural resources by rural communities neighbouring conservation areas – Makuleke –
Pickering, T & Kuman, K. Faunal Research, a component of K Kuman’s ongoing project – Early stone age archaeology – Mapungubwe.
Poonan, U.U. A sociological analysis of the People and Conservation Directorate in SANParks 1994 to 2004.
Schmiedel, U. Protecting the endangered and locally endemic quartz field species on the Soebatsfontein commonage by participative research, exclusion of grazing and awareness rising.
Taljaard, S. SADC REEP research into environmental education responses risk and vulnerability.
Turner, R.L. States and Markets Revisited: Nature Tourism and the Local Political Economy in Botswana and South Africa.
Whande, W. Framing Biodiversity Conservation Discourses in South Africa: Emerging Realities and the Conflicting Agendas in the Great Limpopo Trans Frontier Conservation Area.
South African National Parks (SANParks) is the lead national government conservation agency, managing 23 national parks and two world heritage sites that cover 3.7 million hectares of South Africa.//include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'].'/projects/search.php'); ?>
The South African National Parks has excelled in biophysical research since its first inception in the 1950’s in Skukuza.
However, recent trends in biodiversity conservation has resulted in increased interest in social science research. This has come about through the realisation that Protected Areas must work together with local Constituencies in order to achieve conservation and sustainable livelihoods.
The research priorities listed below will give prospective researchers an idea of the type of research that is required within the realm of social science research in and adjacent to National Parks in South Africa.
1. Community Based Conservation
1.1 Socio-economic baselines
Socio-economic baselines are conducted in areas neighbouring protected areas. The purpose of such research is to develop community profiles and to derive an understanding of what community livelihood strategies are. With this understanding parks are encouraged to align their Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment programmes with an understanding of what community needs are. These baselines are also critical as a source so that when government, NGOs, and International agencies who are interested in working in certain regions find the mapped baselines to have a better understanding of the socio-economic and political context and profiles. Out of the 20 parks, it is in only 5 parks where such baselines research studies have been conducted. These are Greater Addo National Park, Marakele National Park, some regions in Kruger etc.
1.2 Community-Park Forum management strategies
The National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 endorses putting mechanisms in place to engage local communities in protected areas. It further states that park plans must be compiled in consultation with a wide range of interested and affected parties and calls for management plans to put procedures in place for public participation. Park forums are put in place by SANParks in order to comply with the Act. However, the different models for consultation and participation differ vastly. It would be critical to investigate the best models and frameworks which are contextually congruent. The other research concern and critical questions which would form part of a bigger question is with the long term involvement of communities in park forums. How should this interaction be kept alive and how does it remain meaningful and effective? Around which types of issues should parks encourage involvement? What meaningful skills would park forum members need enhanced to participate meaningful? How can park managers be capacitated to be able to deal with park forum members in a meaningful manner?
1.3 Damage causing animals and their impacts in community areas
This is an area which has constantly soured relationships between communities and protected areas. The issue of compensation has not been clearly articulated in policies and the roles of national, provincial and municipal parks in the event that an animal escapes the park and ownership of such an animal becomes fuzzy. This is an area that has received little attention from researchers yet critical in facilitating better relations with communities.
1.4 Engaging private conservation agencies – what is their role in addressing conservation disparities
The constant trend in South Africa is to hold protected area managers such as SANParks responsible for addressing disparities that emerged as a result of setting up conservation areas. Well-off neighbours of protected areas, who have benefited from animal flows into their areas as a result of dropping down of fences for the better movement of animals have not been engaged in supporting the disparities yet their revenues at times far exceeds those of their neighbour national parks. Private reserves could facilitate in skills development and other means to support communities. There is a need to research the views of private conservation institutions and the likely role they could play in addressing community issues at their doorstep.
1.5 Sustainable resource use in SANParks conservation areas
Provision has been made in the Protected Areas Act for sustainable resource use for protected area neighbours. This means that the SANParks Resource Use policy will have to be revised after the Protected Areas Act has been promulgated and a SANParks Resource Use Strategy and Implementation plan needs to be put into place. Research in this area could focus on the effectiveness of the policy. Resource use in this context should not be limited to tangible natural resources.
1.6 Community participation in the development of park management plans
The South African Protected Areas Act requires that each park develops a Management Plan. Such a plan is prepared in consultation with municipalities, other organs of state, local communities and any other affected parties which have an interest in the area. The process of developing and rolling out these plans needs to be a process that is documented for future investigations. The extent and manner of this participation will provide a layer of understanding of community participation dynamics. Further to that, it would also be important to evaluate and document the revision of these plans and the role played by communities in that public participation process.
1.7 Transfrontier-boundary issues
The newer trend in conservation in the SADC region is the integration of areas across national boundaries to increase conservation landscapes and allow for the movement of animals freely. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which crosses national boundaries between Botswana and South Africa is one such example. Other parks in the process of setting up transboundary parks are Kruger/Mozambique/Zimbabwe, Richtersveld and Namibia, Mapungubwe/Zimbabwe and Botswana. There are a number of areas of a transboundary concern that have not been investigated in these areas particularly the socio-economic issues. These cold be outlined as socio-economic baselines. Other areas which are benefit related such as resource use, management plans etc. would need to be investigated.
1.8 Environmental disasters such as cyclones, floods etc. and how they reshape the landscape and peoples livelihood strategies
In 2001 Kruger National Park suffered a flood so serious losses suffered by park neighbours were critical. Focus of the media was mainly around losses of animals and the displacement etc. other impacts in relation to protected neighbours and how these pressured natural resources were not investigated.
1.9 Land - claims
A number of Parks such as Kruger are under claim from neighbouring communities. There is need to investigate such claims and seek settlement solutions that are mutually beneficial for parks and protected areas. These will include and make use of research investigation methods such as focus groups, GIS Mapping, cultural mapping, historical and anthropological investigations.
1.10 Expanded Public Works Programmes
SANParks in partnership with a number of Government Departments is involved in what is called the Expanded Public Works Programme. The purpose of this programme is to give socio-economic benefits to the poorest. In SANParks the projects directly and indirectly address issues of poverty, skills development as well as support the clearing of alien plant species in coastal areas and wetlands. There is another project which mainly deals with clearing alien invader plants to open up areas that had been dried up by alien plants and this project is called the Working for Water project. This project is presently being implemented in all the 20 National Parks. Another project is the Poverty Relief Project which is also implemented in all the 20 parks. This project has to be labour intensive and looks at tourism infrastructure development. This infrastructure becomes critical in opening up tourism facilities and adds revenue which is then directed towards biodiversity management. However, when these projects were conceptualised in the early 1990’s evaluation and monitoring frameworks were not adequately and sharply built in. There is a call within the conservation community to investigate the impact of these projects on communities living around protected areas and to revise the project objectives as well as build in monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
2. Cultural Heritage
South African National Parks Research Challenges and Priorities on Cultural Heritage
Over the decades SANParks has offered researchers and scholars throughout the country and from abroad great opportunities to unmask and help interpret the past through its wealth of cultural resource sites and heritage objects. The prevailing socio-political conditions of the past have however played a major role in shaping the research landscape with regards to cultural resources. In a number of parks, for example, more focus was placed on investigating the physical structures relating to colonial settlements and the associated history. A number of pre-historical cultural sites were stumbled upon by chance without any focused cultural survey programme. This trend unfortunately continues to exist, for example, in the Kruger National Park where Thulamela and Masorini have been the main focus with other small scale research projects focused on the Anglo-Boer war; the Albasini site etc. Researchers have also shown biased interest on popular sites like Mapungubwe with very little interest on new sites. The research landscape has pre-dominantly been archaeological, lacking input from other related disciplines which have the potential of enriching the stories of our past. A move from a predominantly scientific and technicist approach to archaeology towards a socially rooted public or social archaeology would ensure greater community participation and a richer interpretation of our past. Most research projects, processes and findings were also kept away from the public in the past (e.g. Mapungubwe) living behind a legacy of culturally and politically contentious issues still needing to be resolved. It is important therefore that heritage activities within SANParks research and otherwise, operate in an intersectoral way and be socially rooted.
The need to redefine research priorities; to encourage researchers from previously disadvantage groups and that of allowing researchers from other disciplines cannot be emphasised enough. It is critically important that those who wish to convey the country’s cultural heritage have a clear idea of what represents the essence of South Africa’s diverse cultural history.
Indigenous Knowledge and Oral Histories
The wealth of our living heritage and indigenous knowledge is fast disappearing with time. Whilst National Parks are living museums of South Africa’s diverse cultural footprints; local communities hold living a wealth of our intangible heritage. The knowledge, experience and memories of indigenous communities, combined with the attachments and meanings that they bestow upon particular places and landscapes within and outside National Parks; contribute to our understanding of cultural heritage significance and proper conservation. It is part of SANParks responsibility to promote community participation by engaging them in processes that mobilize the wealth of indigenous knowledge inherent in local communities on biodiversity management. This could add value to scientific research and management processes that already exist or will be required in future. In the recent past we have suffered critical losses of some holders of rare indigenous knowledge and skills e.g. Oom Vet Piet (Kgalagadi) and Oom Dawid Bester (West Coast). This Year 2005 we have unfortunately lost ‘Wise Elder’ Simeon Mpangane who has for a number of years engaged with the youth during SANParks Imbewu Youth camps and trails. He has over the years shared a great wealth of indigenous wisdom on the flora and fauna of the Kruger National Park.
The rich diversity of cultures in South Africa and in particular within communities neighbouring National Parks also represents the wealth of indigenous knowledge and fascinating tales of our oral histories. Many past decades of colonisation and apartheid have unfortunately led to the subjugation and marginalisation of indigenous knowledge systems and associated oral histories of the majority of South Africans. This status quo particularly prevailed within scientific studies and research on various fields including the conservation and management of our biodiversity and natural sciences. Work done by some of SANParks scientific services personnel regarding indigenous names and uses of certain plant species over the past few years is a step in the right direction and needs to be encouraged. However, a much broader and holistic focus and approach on the mobilising and documenting of indigenous knowledge needs to be taken into consideration. Closer collaboration with local communities and community experts is critical to ensuring a culturally sensitive and context specific mobilisation and interpretation of indigenous knowledge on a broader scale. One of the challenges that need SANParks strategic and coordinated response is the need for traditional healers to derive benefit from a variety of animal parts and medicinal plant species within National Parks.
In order to maximise benefits from a number of cultural sites, there is a need to mobilise stories, beliefs, songs, poems and histories relating to these sites. Access for communities wanting to visit some of the sites for traditional ceremonies and commemorations also need a coordinated and informed response. These efforts if carefully implemented, may contribute towards changing past perceptions of conservation as a benefit for the elite and only a means of dispossessing the majority of people from their land and from access to natural and cultural resources. Other research priorities within SANParks include the following:
- Exploration of socio-cultural footprints within parks in partnership with historically resident communities. Most of the communities that stay adjacent to National Parks (or those that have been displaced to areas further than the park) hold a wealth of oral historical information on areas within the parks. Unfortunately as mentioned above this information is fast disappearing with time. There is therefore need to conduct community based cultural and historical research that is linked to some of these protected areas. Such research projects would result in strengthening relations between parks and communities and in restoring a proud heritage and identity for communities around the country.
- Kruger Freedom fighter Routes. Kruger is not only a conservation area but represents different histories for different people. Kruger was used by Freedom fighters as an entry point into South Africa. The park is mainly interpreted from a biodiversity point of view and the cultural history is usually neglected. From a cultural and political history point of view it would be critical to map the routes used by freedom fighters which would allow for the interpretation of the park from different points of view.
- The role and contribution of retired black rangers in park developments and documentation of their indigenous knowledge capital and oral history. The History of National Parks mainly celebrates White rangers and wipes out the role played by Black rangers in the carving out of conservation areas as well as the wisdom they shared in developing a better understanding of the resources that parks were managing. Although through one of our Youth Development programmes (Imbewu) there has been initiatives to partner with ‘wise elders’ who are retired rangers; more research still needs to be conducted in order to document the rare wealth of both indigenous and scientific conservation knowledge they have about the fauna, flora and geological landscapes of most of our National parks. Their role in the development of National Parks is clearly missing from most of the literatures that sought to document and celebrate conservation milestones in South Africa. Especially dedicated research on their role may serve to unearth the contribution of most of these unsung heroes of conservation in South Africa. Research has already provided evidence that most these Rangers although they had little or no education provided most of the early conservation scientists with useful information about indigenous fauna and flora. Some of these rangers are dying off without assisting in the re-writing history from their point of view.
- Socio-ecological and Indigenous knowledge research. More research that focuses on the indigenous significance and knowledge behind the biodiversity of National Parks still needs to be done.
- Developing appropriate tourism development strategies for parks that is rich in cultural heritage. The area of cultural tourism has not been properly explored within SANParks. There are still a number of opportunities to develop tourism products within parks that are based on cultural interests. Mapungubwe, a World Heritage site within a National Park is a good example of what is possible. On the other hand research also needs to be conducted in order to explore some of the issues relating to creating a balance between biodiversity and culture based tourism developments.
- Urgent need to conduct comprehensive cultural resource surveys for all parks. It may be difficult to develop some of intended culture based initiatives when we have little or not information of the cultural assets with National Parks. Surveys and inventories of all cultural assets therefore need urgent funding and attention. Information from such survey will then provide a base for further research and documentation work.
- There are also a number of elders who posses intimate knowledge about conservation some who have died such as Oom Vet Piet of the Kalahari. Other ailing treasures are elders such as Credo Mutwa.
- Histories of all parks; Kruger and Mapungubwe are the only parks out of the 22 that have a documented history. The other 20 have no documented histories. It would be critical that histories of these parks are written so that this will form another layer of our conservation history and interpretation.
- Indigenous animal and plant classifications; the classification of plants and animals has been done from a conservation point of view ignoring the indigenous classifications that existed. It would be critical to investigate the traditional classification methods and document them and to develop an understanding of the issues that informed such classifications, which will form a layer into looking at classifications in general.
- Alternative mapping methodologies; The mapping of parks has mainly been conducted from a biodiversity point of view and a layer of cultural heritage which forms part and parcel of the resources of the park has not been conducted. Therefore sites that are sensitive from a cultural point of view are not known and we could be burying some of our sensitive sites with new tourism development ventures in the parks
- Management plans for cultural heritage; SANParks boasts a number of heritage sites such as Thulamela, initiation and fertility caves, San rock sites etc. Tourists are taken into these sites which have not been well researched in terms of their indigenous history. These sites also do not have management nor conservation plans. In those parks where they exist most are outdated and carry negative connotations. This process requires researching the sites and mapping their levels of sensitivity and making recommendations on how they need to be utilised and managed.
- Inventories of the cultural heritage estate in all parks: Cultural heritage resources includes sensitive sites, buildings, farming implements, significant plants and monuments, photographs, artefacts from excavation sites, archival material, film and video material, paintings etc. A number of these resources are getting lost as retiring park managers are replaced by younger ones. SANParks does not have data on what the cultural heritage estate within natural conservation areas is made of, what their conservation status is. It would be critical that an inventory and assessment of these objects and sites is made.
- Cultural heritage policies; Desk-top draft policies on Cultural Heritage have been developed and have not been informed by the multiple players that utilise the park as well as have resided in the parks. These policies need to be informed by the number of National Acts and inform developing policies.
- Mapping parks for World Heritage Site tentative listing; UNESCO Heritage listing and protection for parks such as Kalahari, Richtersveld, etc. which exhibit universal values of their intangible and tangible natural and cultural resources, is critical.
3. Environmental Education and Interpretation
- The integration of environmental geography in environmental education and interpretation
- Evaluation of environmental programmes in SANParks – such as Imbewu
This bibliography will provide you with an idea of the type of social science research, which has been conducted in and around South African National Parks in the past.
The objective of the bibliography is to assist current and future researchers with potential sources of information which can guide their research to the benefit of biodiversity and community based conservation. The list is by no means all-inclusive and as such any additions to the bibliography, which will assist future researchers in this important endeavour, will be most appreciated. Please email these to the author
Addo Elephant National Park
FABRICIUS, C., ET AL. 2000. AENP and Neighbouring Communities Socio-Economic Baseline Study. Rhodes University
DE KLERK, B, WEBLEY, L. COCKS, M & WAY-JONES, F. 2002 GAENP: Pilot (Phase 1): Cultural Mapping Pilot
Exercise. Albany Museum and Rhodes University.
Augrabies Falls National Park
BIRKHOLTZ, P. STEYN, H. & SIMPSON, L. 2001 Cultural Resource management plan for Augrabies Falls National park and surrounding areas. SANParks & DANCED
LADEN, G.T., JAMES, S., HANSEN, S. & SIMPSON, L. The History & Evolution of Human Land Use Ecology in SA.
Bontebok National Park
TOMLINSON L.L. 1943. Geskiedkundige Swellendam
VAN HEMERT, M & MEFFERT P. 1991. Die Khoisan van die Overberg. Drosty Museum.
VAN RENSBURG A.P.J. 1975. Die geskiedenis van die Bontebok Park’ Swellendam. Koedoe vol 18, pg 165 – 190.
Camdeboo National Park
AINSLIE, A. 1995. The Attitudes of Neighbours towards Nature Conservation at Two East Cape Nature Reserves. East
Cape Nature Conservation and Rhodes University.
Golden Gate National Park
CRAIGIE, I. 2004. Rock art of Golden Gate. SANParks
ERIKSON, P.G. 1983. A Palaeoenvironmental Study of the Molteno, Elliot and Clarens Formations in the Natal Drakensburg
and North Eastern Orange Free State. Unpublished PHD thesis, University of Natal.
KENT, S. & SCHOLTZ, N. 2003. Perspectives on the Geology of an Open-Air Middle Stone Age site, Eastern Free State,
South Africa: research in action. South African Journal of Science 99: 422-424.
KITCHING, J.W. 1979. Dinosaurian eggs found in Park. Palaeontological Africana 22: 41-45.
LOCHNER, MARAIS. & SHAI, MAKGOBA. 2002. Coping With the Consequences of Apartheid in the QWAQWA Area:
Local Economic Development in a Former Homeland Area. Human Sciences Research Council.
REISZ, R.R. et al. 2005. Embryos of an Early Jurassic Prosauropod Dinosaur and their Evolutionary Significance. Science 29: 761-764.
SEMPA, T.A. 2002. Guidelines for a Community- Based conservation approach in the Qwa Qwa National Park. University of the Free State.
SIMELANE, T.S. & KNIGHT, M.H. 1998. Parks-People Relations: Where we are now? SANParks
SLATTER, T. 2002. Differentiation and diversification: changed livelihoods in Qwa Qwa, South Africa. 1970 to 2000. Journal
of Southern African Studies 28: 599-614
TIELEN, S. 2006. Sustainable tourism, ecotourism, touristic carrying capacity of National Parks in SA.
VAN RENSBURG, A.P.J. 1968. Golden Gate – die geskiedenis van twee plase wat n Nasional Park geword het. Koedoe 11:
WOODHOUSE, B. 1996. The rock art of the Golden gate and Clarens Districts. South African Archaeological Bulletin 51 (164): 117-118
ZELENITSKY, D.K. & Modesto, S. 2002. Re-evaluation of the eggshell structure of eggs containing dinosaur embryos from the Later Jurassic of South Africa. South African Journal of Science 98: 407-408.
Karoo National Park
BEANADIE, K Medicinal use of plants. (Educational brochure) SANParks
Honorary Rangers Grave sites in Karoo National Park (Educational booklet) SANParks
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
BERLYN, P 1966. Kung Bushmen and their Social Systems. African World. November: 10
BIESELE, M 1971. Hunting in Semi – Arid Areas – the Kalahari Bushmen today. Botsw. Notes and records Special Edition 1: 62-68 BOSAZZA, VL 1957. The Kalahari system in South Africa and the importance in relationship to the evolution of man. In Clark, J.D. (Ed) Prehistory – Third Pan African Congress. London. Chatto and Windus.
CAMPBELL, AC. 1971. Traditional utilisation of Wildlife in the Kalahari. Botsw. Notes and records Special Edition 1: 108-113
CAMPBELL, AC & CHILD, G. 1971. The impact of man on the environment of Botsawana. Botsw. Notes and records3: 91-110
CHILD, G 1970. Wildlife utilization and management in Botswana. Biol. Conserv 3: 18-22
CHILD, G. 1971. Wildlife and land use in Botswana. Botsw. Notes and records Special ed 1: 160-166
CLEMENT, AJ. 1965. Farini’s”Lost City” of the Kalahari: the probable solution. S. Afr. J. Sci. 61: 208-212
CLEMENT, AJ. 1967. The Kalahari and its lost city. Cape Town. Longman
DEVIT, P. 1971. Man and his environment in the western Kalahari, or a little technology is a dangerous thing. Botsw. Notes and
Records Special Edition 1: 50 – 56
GOLDIE, F. 1963. Lost City of the Kalahari. Cape Town and Amsterdam: A.A. Balkema
GUENTHER, MG. 1975. San acculturation and incorporation in the ranching areas of the Ghanzi District: some urgent
anthropological issues. Botsw. Notes and records7: 167 – 170.
HEINZ, H.J., 1973. The Ethno-Biology of the !ko Bushmen. Ocasional Paper No 1. Botswana Society, Gaborone.
HUGHES, CASSEY. 2006. The Reality for the Khomani San/Mier of the KTP Following the 1999 Land Claim. University of Cape Town.
JONES, J.D.R & DOKE, C.M., 1937. Bushmen of the southern Kalahari. Bantu studies 10 (4) and 11 (3)
KONRAD, R., 2005 Peace Parks in Southern Africa and its influence on local, national and international relations- on the example
of the Kgalagadi transfrontier conservation area. University of Vienna.
National Cultural History Museum. 2001. Cultural heritage Investigation in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
NATURAL RESOURCE SERVICES & GRANT THORNTON KESSEL FEINSTEIN THL CONSULTING. 2000. Preparation of the Tourism and Community Empowerment Aspects of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Management Plan – Background Report Internal Working Document. SANParks.
PUZO, B. 1978. Patterns of Man-Land relations. In Werger, MJA (Ed). Biogeography and ecology of Southern Africa. The Hague: W. Junk.
SCHAPERA, I. 1926. Bushmen arrow poisons. Bantu studies 2: 199-214
STORY, R . 1958. Some plants used by Bushmen in obtaining food and water. Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Afr. 30: 1-137
STORY, R. 1964. Plant lore of the Bushmen. In: Davis, DHS (Ed). Ecological Studies in Southern Africa. The Hague: W.Kunk
TANAKA, J. 1969. The ecology and social structure of Central Kalahari Bushmen: a preliminary report. African Studies 3. Edit
TOBIAS, PV. 1964. Bushmen, hunter-gatherers: A study in human ecology. In: Davis, DHS (Ed). Ecological studies in southern
Africa. The Hague: W. Junk
TOBIAS, PV. 1978. The Bushmen, game herders and hunters of southern Africa. Cape Town: Human & Rousseau
WEHMEYER, AS, LEE, RB, WHITING, M. 1969. The nutrient composition and dietary importance of some vegetable foods eaten by
the !Kung Bushmen. SA Medical Journal 95: 1529-1530
WILLIAMS, JD. LEWIS & BIESELE, M. 1978. Eland hunting rituals among northern and southern San groups. Africa 48 (2): 117 – 134
Kruger National Park
Proklamasie van die Sabie Wiltuin, 26 Maart 1898 copy of the original proclamation signed by Pres Paul Kruger in 1898
Koedoe 4 – 1961 Page 1 - 3
BIGGS, H.C. 2003. Integration of Science: Successes, Challenges and the Future The Kruger Experience. Ecology and
Management of Savanna Heterogeneity. Part 4. Edited by du Toit, J.T., Rogers, K.H. and Biggs, H.C.. Island Press
BIRKHOLTZ, POLKE.D. 1997. Die Argeologie van Pretoriuskop. University of Pretoria.
BOTHA, J. 2001. Perceptions of Species availability and values of Medicinal Plants Traded in areas adjacent to the Kruger National Park.
BOTHA, J. WITKOWSKI, ETF. & SHACKLETON, CM. 2001 An inventory of medicinal plants traded on the Western boundary of the
Kruger National Park, South Africa. Yes – Koedoe 44/2 – 2001 pages 7 to 46
CARRUTHERS, J. 1993. “Police boys” and poachers: Africans, wildlife protection and national Parks, the Transvaal 1902 to 1950
Koedoe 36/2 – 1993 pages 11 to 22
COLLIE, A.R., STRAUSS, J. & VAN ROOYEN, H.G. 1998. Concerns and Attitudes of the Southern Neighbours of the Kruger
National Park, Towards the Park. Working Towards an Environmental Education Model. Rand Afrikaans University.
ENGELBRECHT, W.G. & VAN DER WALT P.T. 1993. Notes on the economic use of the Kruger National Park.
Koedoe 36/2 – 1993 pages 113 to 120.
GIBBON, R. 2003. Investigation into the Earlier Stone Age of the Northern Kruger National Park.
JORDEN, T.J.W. 1961. Verslag oor die ondersoek in verband met Ou Aambeeld wat vermoedelik tot die Van Rensburg Trek
behoort het. Koedoe no 4 – 1961 pages 45 – 53
JOUBERT, S.C.J. 1986. The Kruger National Park – An Introduction. Koedoe 29 pages 1 to 12.
KUSEL, M. 1992. A preliminary report on settlement layout and gold melting at Thula Mela, a late Iron Age site in the Kruger
National Park. Koedoe 35/1 – 1992 pages 55 to 64
LOMBARD, B.V. 1969. Herkoms van die naam Pretoriuskop. Koedoe – no 12 – 1969 pages 53 to 56
MABUNDA, M.D. 2003. An intergrated Tourism Management Framework for the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Unpublished PHD Thesis. University of Pretoria.
MESKELL. L, WEISS. L . 2006. Coetzee on South Africa’s past: Remembering in the Time of Forgetting American Anthropologist
Vol 108, No 1 pg 88 to 99.
MESKELL. L . 2006. Deep Past, Divided Present: South Afica’s Heritage at the Frontier.
MESKELL, L. 2005. Recognition, Restitution and the Potentials of Postcolonial Liberalism for South African heritage. South
African Archaeological Bulletin 60 (182): 72-78.
MESKELL, L. 2005. Archeological Ethnography: Conversations around Kruger National Park. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeology Congress1:1,2005.
MEYER, A. & VERHOEF, J. 1999. Archaeology of the Kruger National Park: Cultural Heritage Mapping, Management and Education. University of Pretoria and SANParks.
MEYER, A. 1986. n Kultuurhistoriese intepretasie van die Ystertydperk in die Nasionale Krugerwildtien University of Pretoria.
NEMAHENI, T. I., VAN HEERDEN, M. & VAN SCHALKWYK, J.A. 2002. A Cultural Heritage Resource Management Plan for Thulamela Heritage Site. University of Pretoria.
PIENAAR, U. DE V. 1990. Neem uit die verlede. South African National Parks.
PLUG, I Hunters and Herders: An Archeological Study in the Kruger National Park
PLUG, I. 1989 Notes on distribution and relative abundance of some animal species, and on climate in the Kruger
National Park during prehistoric times. Koedoe 32/1 pg 101 - 119
PLUG, I. 1991. Fish and other faunal remains from a Late Iron Age site on the Letaba River, Kruger National Park.
Koedoe 34/1 – 1991 pages 1 to 6
POLLARD, S. Towards catchment water security linking water and livelihoods: Contributions towards constructing a
socio-ecological system (SES) of the Sand River Catchment
POLLARD, S., SHACKLETON, C., CARRUTHERS, J. Beyond the Fence: People and the Lowveld Landscape. The
Kruger Experience. Ecology and Management of Savanna Heterogeneity. Part 4. Edited by du Toit, J.T., Rogers, K.H.,
& Biggs, H.C. Island Press
PUNT, W.H.J. 1962. n Beknopte oorsig van die Historiese Navorsing in die Nasionale Krugerwildtuin. Koedoe no 5 pages 123 to 127
RADEMAN, L. 2005. An Ecological Assessment of the Sustainable Utilisation of the Woody Vegetation in the Lowveld
Bushveld, Mpumalanga Province. Unpublished PHD Thesis – University of Cape Town.
SPENCELEY, A. 2005. Tourism Investment in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area – Scoping Report.
University of Witwatersrand.
SPENCELEY, A. 2005. Tourism Investment in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. – Relating strategic
visions to local activities that promote sustainable tourism development. IUCN/TPARI workshop proceedings 14-16 April
2005, Wits Rural Facility.
TURNER, R.L. 2003. State in Community-Based Natural Resource Management: The Makuleke Region of Kruger
National Park. University of California-Berkeley
VERHOEF, J Die Oprigting en Ingebruikstelling van die Msorini Terreinmuseum in die Nasionale Krugerwildtuin
VERHOEF, J. 1986. Notes on Archaeology and prehistoric mining in the Kruger National Park Koedoe 29 – 1986 pages 149 to 156
VON VOLLENHOVEN, A.C. A Historical and Archeological investigation of the Cultural remains of the different outposts of the
Steinacker’s Horse Military Unit in the KNP.
VON VOLLENHOVEN, A., PELSER, A.J. 2004 Steinacker’s Horse: It’s role during the Anglo Boer War and in the
establishment of the Kruger National Park. South African Journal of Cultural History Vol.18 No 2, November 2004
VON VOLLENHOVEN, A.C., PELSER, A.J. & TEICHERT, F.E. A Historical Archaeological Investigation of the
Northernmost Outpost of Steinacker's Horse, Letaba District, Kruger National Park II
VON VOLLENHOVEN, A.C., PELSER, A.J. & TEICHERT, F.E. Historical and Archaeological investigation of the
Northern outpost of Steinacker's Horse near Letaba Restcamp
VON VOLLENHOVEN, A.C., PELSER, A.J. & TEICHERT, F.E. A Survey of the Remains of some of the outposts of the
Steinacker's Horse Military Unit in the Kruger National Park
VON VOLLENHOVEN, A.C., PELSER, A.J. & TEICHERT, F.E. Steinacker's Horse Historical Archaeological Research Project
VON VOLLENHOVEN, A.C., PELSER, A.J. & TIECHERT, F.E. Survey Of Masorini and Surrounding Koppies
VAN VOLLENHOVEN, AC, PELSER AJ, VAN DEN BOS, JW A historical- archaeological investigation of an Anglo-Boer
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Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site
BECK, H.C. 1937. The beads of the Mapungubwe district In Fouche, L. (ed) Mapungubwe. Cambridge University.
BECKER, J. 1979. Metallurgiese waarnemings In: Eloff, J.F. Die kulture van Greefswald. Ongepubliseerde verslag aan
die Raad vir Geestewetenskaplike Narvorsing, Vol 2
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MEYER, A. 1995. From hunting grounds to digging fields: Observations on aspects of cultural heritage management in
Some national parks South African Journal of Ethnology, 18 (4), 159 – 163
MEYER, A. 1995. The Iron Age sites of Greefswald. Pretoria: University of Pretoria
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Archaeological Bulletin, 32, 158-164
PEARSON, R. 1937. Gold from Mapungubwe In: Fouche, L. Mapungubwe. Cambridge: University Press
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Last updated : November 2006
Wise elders share stories, experiences and enthusiasm in this unique 4-day wilderness camping programme for South African youth leaders. They plant a seed – ‘imbewu’ in Zulu and Xhosa – of passion for African nature and culture. Using their oral tradition and indigenous knowledge the elders lead walking trails and interpret the natural environment. After sunset they tell folk stories around the camp fire.
Imbewu is a joint project of SANParks and the Wilderness Foundation. It was created in 1996 in the Kruger National Park. Since then camps have been established in the national parks of Addo Elephant, Tsitsikamma and Namaqua as well as in Imfolozi Game Reserve (KZN Wildlife). In 2007 the programme will expand to Marakele, Golden Gate and Kgalagadi. Special women’s Imbewus are planned in August 2007.
So far the programme has taken over 6 000 historically disadvantaged youth leaders to the experiential bush camps. Each Imbewu course is made up of eight participants and two guides; Kruger takes the double amount of people. The participants sleep out in the bush, under tree in an open sky. In cases where there are dangerous animals, an electric fence is made for participants to stay and sleep inside. All participants are aged between 15-24 years old with an equal number of young men and women. Imbewu works with local AIDS community-based organizations and have taken a number of counsellors and youth that are HIV positive on the courses.
Throughout the years Imbewu has trained 22 wise elders as teachers. They were drawn from a small circle of retired black game rangers, many of whom cannot read or write. They share wisdom from lifelong work in the parks and from traditions learnt from their forefathers. Almost every traditional cultural group in South Africa is represented through these elders – all the teaching and interpretation takes place in home languages. The average age of the guides is 66 years and they each have at least 30 years work experience in the park or game reserve in which the course takes place. Currently most of the elders are men but there are three woman elders in the programme.
SANParks Junior Rangers
The Junior Honorary Rangers Orientation Course was created in 2001 in response to the requests of participants who attended the Imbewu course and established clubs in their respective schools or communities. It is a joint effort of the SANParks Honorary Rangers, Imbewu management and the University of South Africa.
So far 70 percent of the participants are from previously disadvantaged communities and 54 percent are female. They have to organize themselves in groups of at least 20 candidates.
The focus of the 6 to 9 month nature course is to provide youth with knowledge, skills and positive attitudes, so that they will be able to help SANParks and their own communities. The Junior Honorary Rangers Orientation Course is a distance learning course. The training package consists of an interactive workbook, a one-day practical workshop, a portfolio and a practical group project based on another environmental course – for example a cleaning campaign or a course about indigenous names of local trees and their uses.
You can read more on the SANParks Junior Ranger here.