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Bushveld Region Honorary Rangers Hand Over Equipment To SANParks

22 July 2008

On Monday 21 July, Christmas came a little earlier for the members of SANParks involved with activities at Phalaborwa gate.

Members of the Bushveld Region Honorary Rangers handed over equipment to the value of R15,500 to Andrew Desmet (Manager: Guided Activities) and Donovan Terblanche (Head Guide, Phalaborwa). Also present were the Regional Manager of the Nxanatseni Region, Mr Ben van Eeden and Regional Ranger for Nxanatseni Region (South), Mr Louis Olivier (Oom Louis, as he is better known) and Kirsty Redman, (P&C, Letaba).

The equipment will go a long way in helping to make the staff comfortable in the bush, specifically on the Olifants backpacking trail and comprised of blankets, gas cookers, sleeping bags, tents, torches, spot-lights, first aid kits, water bottles and the grand prize, two Cyber Trackers.

In his acceptance address, Andrew Desmet said that the Cyber Trackers would be used to assist the Rangers, as the valuable data that is captured on them, will be shared with the Rangers in the area.

A big donation towards the equipment was received from a local businessman in Phalaborwa, Mr Willem Nieuwoudt, owner of Wilfred Projects. His company and staff members have been staunch supporters of the Bushveld Region Honorary Rangers for a long time.

The Chairperson of Bushveld Region Honorary Rangers, Piet Andjelkovic, thanked them for their valuable contributions to the region. He also thanked members of the region for their assistance in helping to raise funds to make donations like these possible.The gathering was addressed by Mr Andrew Lumbe from SANParks Corporate Investigation Services. He shared some information with the group regarding the way they work, the frustrations they share and the successes they have had in their line of work.

His talk to the group highlighted the fact they, together with the Field Rangers, are amongst the few barriers between the protection of our environment and unscrupulous raiders of our heritage. It is everyone’s task to highlight information of intended acts of poaching and criminal behaviour to Andrew’s team, and members present were asked to assist where they can.

The evening was also dedicated to the members of the Bushveld Region, for winning the coveted SANParks Kudu Award for the HR region of the year. Members were thanked for their contributions in time and dedication in making the Award possible. Johan Smit was given his new badge, indicating his 15 years uninterrupted service to the Honorary Rangers, and his efforts were praised by the Chairman.

The group shared a social evening afterwards, with snacks provided by Hannetjie Besselaar from O’Hagans Pub and Grill in Phalaborwa.

Members of the Bushveld region Honorary Rangers in Phalaborwa are diverse in their working lives, but all share a common passion for the Kruger National Park. Working with members of SANParks is an honour and a pleasure, and we wish to thank them and the general public in Phalaborwa for their continued support of our work.