As our ‘fledgling’ years as a region draw to a close, it gives me great pleasure to present the Chairperson’s 3rd Annual Report for the Virtual Region of the SANParks Honorary Rangers.
The region is currently made up of a membership of 17; three Applicants, and 14 Honorary Rangers. This is a growth in numbers of just under 30% for the past year on year.
The role of the Virtual Region is to facilitate fund raising and projects initiated by the SANParks Forum members; and to assist the SANParks Forum community with information or technical issues on the forums, as well as to also assist SANParks E Biz department in managing the Forums. Members of the region not only are active on the forums, but do duty in the National Parks and assist SANPark in other ways. For the year 2011 members of the region spent 8522 hours doing productive duty on the forums. For the first 3 quarters of 2012, these hours total 7000. The total direct and indirect contribution of the region for 2011 was R1 709 460.00 and as at end of Sept 2012, for the current year, this stands at R1 771 931.00.
Monies raised under the umbrella of the region by efforts of the SANParks forum members totalled to R125000.00 for the 2011 year. As at end of October 2012, this figure stands at R153369.00. All monies received are spent on the specific project they are donated/raised for. Admin costs are covered by membership fees paid by the VHRs, and interest received on the bank account. As at end of October 2012 the region holds the following funds:
• Tsammaland School in KTP: R 2 736.29Projects that have been supported during the past year:
• Christmas Drive (KTP): R 100.00
• Mobile Webcam Project: R 10 237.50
• Kids to SANParks: R 54 152.83
• Anti Poaching: R42212.10
* Last December the Ga-Rankuwa Junior Rangers were sponsored an educational trip to Golden Gates Highlands National at a cost of R 18 378.18 - link
* In support of Anti Poaching a total of R 66 300.00 was spent on equipment for the ECI unit in Kruger National Park (44 Garmin GPS and specialised bags for the dog unit) - link
* Esri South Afric
a donated sophisticated anti poaching software and licence at a value of R99750.00 to the Kruger National Park. Thank you to Steve Hine from GISCOE and Lebogang Nteke & Ingrid Landman from ESRI for their support in this donation.
* Four SD cards and a camera were purchased for Augrabies and KTP for an amount of R 4081.20. link
* At the request of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park the petrol costs of R1000 for a community rugby team to travel to play matches was sponsored by the region.
* A sum of R3300.00 was collected and paid over to assist with hospital and travel costs for Albert Bojane, the ranger bitten by a lion in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - link
* The region assisted Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with the cost of three guides to work in the park for 6 months, totalling R9000.00.
* There is an ongoing sale of Stiffnecks merchandise, of which a percentage of the profit is paid over to the Virtual Region - link
* An amount of R803.86 was paid over to purchase items for the Tsammaland School project in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. link
Lists of items being sent via some central points have been kept by forum members, and these will be cross checked by KTP to ensure all items were received.Projects the region has committed to in the near future:
- An amount of R31 000 has been committed to taking children from very poor and very remote areas to Augrabies National park as part of their Kids to Augrabies programme.
- An amount of R10 000 to support the Kids to Bontebok programme, which will resume next year, by buying a tent to facilitate the activities.
- An amount of R40 000 to assist with an items of highly specialised communication equipment in KNP as per the Wish List. This is a project being done in conjunction with Johannesberg South HR region.
Not all efforts that fall under the region are fund raising related. The successful Forum Logo project was guided by the region link
and the forum community used their creative skills to try and win a boat for Bontebok NP - link
; and next year we can look forward to a photographic competition being run on the forums.
Although the Virtual Region is made up of a group of Honorary Rangers, and this report is a formal report on the region’s activities, the energies and hard work that goes into the projects and fund raising reported on is not done by the region’s members alone. It is a communal enterprise which involves the passion, labours and generosity of many members of the SANParks forums. To each and every forum member who has been involved in some way, be it running projects, keeping lists, promoting, donating, (the list goes on and on), over the past year, a heartfelt thank you – without you, none of the above would be possible.
To our Park Manager, Nedret Saidova, thank you for all your support, wisdom and guidance, always.
To my fellow RMC members, who quietly work extremely hard behind the scenes, thank you for your support this past year. It has been wonderful working with you three.
To all the VHRs, you guys are amazing, thank you for all you do and have done to assist building up the region and supporting the members online, and all this is done unconditionally.
Wishing everyone a wonderful, restful and peaceful holiday season, travel safely, and Hamba Kahle!