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Media Release: HIV/Aids Awareness Campaign kicks off in Kruger National Park

21 February 2005

A HIV/Aids Awareness campaign kicked off in the Kruger National Park today (February 21, 2005) with a weeklong campaign aimed at reaching every staff member and contract worker in the 2-million hectare Park.

The campaign will take the form of a “roadshow” with performances by the cast of SABC’s topical comedy show “Emzini We Zinsizwe” at all of the KNP’s major camps, including Punda Maria, Shingwedzi, Mopani, Letaba, Olifants, Satara, Lower Sabie, Crocodile Bridge, Berg-en-Dal, Pretoriuskop and Skukuza.

The cast of  “Emzini We Zinsizwe” (literally translated as “Men’s Hostel”) which, will include Mr Ntuthuko Mqwebu, Mr Ronald Mqwebu (the character Mkhize), Mr Jerry Phele (the character Mufokeng), Mr Jabu Nkosi (the character Chirwale) and Ms Ruth Duduzile Cele (the character Mamgobo or Chakalaka Lady from Hlala Kwa-Bafileyo), will perform live and will discuss issues surrounding HIV/Aids with their audiences by making use of drama and music.

This industrial theatre campaign will form part of the Kruger National Park’s overall effort against HIV/Aids, which has included education and awareness campaigns, condom distribution projects and workshops.

“We have a responsibility towards our staff to raise overall awareness about HIV/Aids to our people, as well as a responsibility to give those indirectly and directly affected by the disease the necessary care and support. The crew from Emzini We Zinsizwe will help us create an atmosphere where we, as an organization, can support our staff properly in this regard,” said Dr Bandile Mkhize, the KNP’s Executive Director.

The campaign officially starts today in Punda Maria Main Camp in the Far Northern Region and will work its way down to Skukuza Main Camp in the Southern Region for the last show, which is scheduled for Sunday February 27, 2005 at the Skukuza Soccer Stadium.

There are roughly 2 200 SANParks employees but contract workers and other organizations operating in the Park, which include the SAPS, the SANDF, First National Bank, Postal Services, Nature’s Group, Tiger’s Eye and other concessionaires, the total number is boosted well over 3 000 (which excludes family members).

… Ends

Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677.

William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communications, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919.

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