Media Release: SANParks reconnecting society

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Media Release: SANParks reconnecting society

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Media Release: SANParks reconnecting society

17 November 2020

South African National Parks (SANParks) partnered with non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) and local Government to deliver food parcels and water tanks to vulnerable communities during the lockdown. George-based NGO, Ithemba Lobomi, worked closely with SANParks to assist vulnerable child-headed homes in Wilderness, George and surrounds.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ithemba Lobomi, Sharon Hendriks, says the need in the area is massive and resources are scarce, hence the need to work together to find creative solutions. Speaking at the Regional launch of SA National Parks Week in Wilderness, Hendriks said solutions begin with individuals and emphasized the importance of mental health, especially within our youth.

Socio-Economic Transformation (SET) Officer for Wilderness, Phumla Nyathikazi says the partnership with organisations such as Ithemba Lobomi and others in Wilderness, is part of SANParks' effort to reconnect society. It has been observed that great things occur when such partnerships are tested.

General Manager of the GRNP, Vuyiswa Thabethe, opened the Garden Route Park gates to the South African community to the GRNP, re-emphasizing the significant role played by National Parks in providing spaces for de-stressing, to enjoy and to connect spiritually.

She also said the coronavirus largely had a negative impact but lockdown presented opportunities to embrace our social and technological abilities. "We now use digital platforms to connect. SANParks (Garden Route) also launched virtual tours for the week where visitors will have a glimpse of the various Parks through such a platform." She further urged young people in attendance at the launch of the free access week in Wilderness to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

Also speaking at the Wilderness event was George Tourism CEO, Joan Shaw, who said the impact of the pandemic on tourism in the Region was unfavourable but lower hanging fruits were to maximize products that are safe and adhere to lockdown regulations. SANParks is one of the large players in the Region providing accommodation and various activities to visitors.

South African National Parks (SANParks) in the Garden Route is using the free access SA National Parks Week campaign, funded by FNB and Total SA to 'reconnect society'. The week-long campaign launched by the Minister of Environmental Affairs in the West Coast National Park, started yesterday, 16 November and will continue up until 20 November 2020.

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks)

Media enquiries:
Nandi Mgwadlamba
Regional Communications Manager
Tel: 078 702 9663
Email: [email protected]
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