Perhaps this is an opportunity to wish all of you a prosperous new year.In relation to a post by GML Smit of AIKONA, please allow me to impress upon you that it does not matter how many times SANParks tries to explain its actions, the likes of GML Smit and his cronies will not in any way agree. It is for this reason that I would still expect that this like many other explanations will be shot down by GML Smit. I am of a view that GML Smit has no regard of SANParks and its management as you can see in his write-up where he refers to SANParks as ‘They’ as if he is referring to some objects or people that cannot be regarded as human beings. That as it may, SANParks will still provide a response to GML Smit of AIKONA.
It should be noted that the SANParks Honorary Rangers (HR) make a huge and POSITIVE contribution towards conservation in our various national parks and because of this tremendous support received from the HRs, SANParks does provide opportunities for HR’s to enjoy Kruger and other national parks in a special way without compromising the conservation mandate of the organisation. It is for this reason that I urge GML Smit to understand that all activities are approved after a thorough assessment.
With reference to the event in question, please take note that the data of the catch-and-release fishing day is still being analysed and is not available as yet. Once it has been processed it will form part of Kruger National Park’s database on fish species and their distribution. Furthermore please note that this fund raising event generated R30 800.00 and these funds were used to construct the dog kennels at Phalaborwa (see attached photo), that is part of the anti-rhino poaching effort.
The HRs support SANParks in two major areas namely, performing duties over weekends, and raising funds. Their total contribution to SANParks was R44 million during the previous financial year. Perhaps we will need to challenge GML Smit and AIKONA to better any contribution that the HR’s have made towards SANParks or cease their grand stand shouting.
Lastly KNP and many other national parks are a hallmark for conservation, and also a place to be enjoyed by the public, the staff as well as those that support the national parks such as the HR’s.
Reynold "Rey" Thakhuli
Acting Head of Communications
South African National Parks, Groenkloof, Tshwane/Pretoria
Tel: +27 (0) 12 426 5170 Fax: +27 (0) 12 343 0153
Mobile: +27 (0) 73 373 4999 e-mail: email@example.com
Go Wild! Off the best beaten natures tracks of Africa!
Central Reservation: +27 (0) 12 428 9111 – http://www.sanparks.org
Main Switchboard +27 (0) 12 426 5000
"The best way to get young people to understand and have respect for the environment in conservation areas is to start by making positive and visible changes in the environments where they live." - Dr David Mabunda, Chief Executive, SANParks.
Vision statement: ‘SANParks connecting to society’
This statement in bold is absolutely unprofessional and unworthy of a person in a position of 'Acting Head of Communications' of Sanparks. Anyone who engages with members of the public and indeed clients of their own organisation in a position such as this must have the professionalism to deal with any and all criticism and enquiry with courtesy and decorum. This statement is unbecoming and an embarrassment to Sanparks.