Media Release: KNP Gives Wheelchairs to Communities
In a gesture of goodwill, the Kruger National Park (KNP) Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize presented representatives from 17 day care centres and other health organisations from around the park with a consignment of 76 wheel chairs today (Wednesday November 28, 2007).
“We received a donation of 100 wheelchairs and, realising that it was more than what we need to support our guests in the camps, decided to use the remaining chairs to spread a little bit of early Christmas cheer among our communities,” commented Dr Mkhize.
Chairs from the donation, which was facilitated by My Acre of Africa, will be distributed to the various day care centres, disable centres, clinics and special schools in areas such as Mhinga, Kildare, Lillydale, Mkhuhlu, Cunningmore, Hluvukani, Belfast, Dumphries, Wisani, Oakley, Justicia, Arthur Seat, Govhu, Makuya, Matsulu and Driekoppies.
“The situation in some of these communities is critical. Our People and Conservation staff has told me that there have seen cases in these areas where handicapped people are transported on wheelbarrows. As responsible citizens we cannot look the other way, so I decided that we should share our consignment of chairs with the needy,” explained Dr Mkhize.
The remaining 24 wheelchairs will be distributed to the various camps in the KNP to assist tourists that might need this service or in case of emergencies.
“I believe this just adds another dimension to our service here in the KNP and will ensure that if any one of our guests needs a wheelchair for any reason, we’ll be able to provide it,” concluded Dr Mkhize.
South African National Parks (SANParks) has a department that is in constant contact with the communities bordering the park. This department is appropriately called People and Conservation and it has established various forums which allow healthy dialogue and joint-ventures and has resulted in a number of successful ventures, including curio shops at Numbi, Kruger, Phalaborwa and Punda Maria entrance gates.