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KNP MANCO & HRs meet in Skukuza

Date: 2010-04-07

On Friday 26 March members of the Kruger National Park (KNP) Management Committee (MANCO) and the Honorary Rangers (KNP) regions as well as National Projects most active in the KNP met in Skukuza.

The meeting was chaired by KNP Managing Executive Abe Sibiya and HR NEC Chairman Janssen Davies and six HR’s from regions, who contribute directly to duties and projects in Kruger, were in attendance. Bushveld, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Lowveld and Highveld regions were represented by their respective chairpersons, as was the National Projects of Public Education & Awareness (PEAP) and Counter Poaching and Ranger Support Services (CP & RSS). SANParks were represented by communications staff, ECIS, and Rangers.

The message delivered by Sibiya was that Counter Poaching and Ranger support should receive high priority from HRs, as it is receiving high levels of investment from SANParks as well. Sibiya also supported the Sand River Bush Camp venture between KNP and HRs, saying it was a mutually beneficial situation. A draft agreement of use is being put in place and will soon be signed by all parties concerned.

Head: Public Relations/ Photography and Filming William Mabasa has requested that a list of local HR members’ qualifications and expertise/skills be forwarded to KNP that will be refined to suit the purposes of SANParks. The KNP ”Wish List” was discussed and a new way forward was adopted, the list will in future be refined to indicate the requests from KNP staff members, the authorisation and which HR region or project has adopted the request for fulfilment as well as projects already complete.

A request was made from the HRs to KNP for assistance with the presentation of KNP Orientation Courses in the north of KNP. These courses will greatly assist HRs to reach their transformation targets, as well as reduce the logistics or cost required for members from remote regions. It will require less travel and reduced accommodation costs. KNP MANCO promised to look into this issue.

Due to the delivery problems of SANParks uniforms, the HRs requested that a version of the golf shirt that they wear on occasions, be approved as an interim uniform for duty in KNP. Sibiya agreed with this suggestion which will allow many HRs to provide much needed services in the KNP. This decision was well received by the Honorary Rangers present.

Meetings between KNP MANCO and HRs will continue to provide much needed info to MANCO, as was illustrated when short presentations were made by all the HR regions and projects represented at the meeting. Some points generated healthy debate and the feedback were highly informative. The Bushveld region requested MANCO to consider a proposal for air support by HRs and was asked to table a detailed proposal before the next meeting.

The members were treated to a very informative talk regarding the Transfrontier Conservation areas by Dr Markus Hofmeyr from Veterinary Wildlife Services (VWS) in KNP. This highlighted several problem areas, as well as areas where a positive impact has been made by him and his team of dedicated scientists, especially regarding the transmission of diseases.

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