Wed May 17, 2017 10:20 pm
Hi members as we prepare for the Public Participation Invite on 10 year Kruger Management Plan meetings we would like to request that our members prepare by discussing and highlighting issues here so that we know what the burning issues and plans are that they would like to present or discuss during these meetings .
Thu May 18, 2017 12:15 pm
For example would the public be at liberty to ask Sanparks how they have determined the need for the envisaged commercialization? Would it be in line to ask about the current financial situation of Sanparks and their ability to fund these developments? Would it be in order to ask Sanparks how it is determined who is "invited" to quote on these developments whether it be from a building or running point of view? Would it be in order to in fact ask Sanparks whether this is in line with the mandate which is supposedly one of custodianship? Would it be fair to comment on the affect that extra staff etc would have on poaching? Would it be a fair question to draw Sanpark's attention to the fact that their current camps are in dire need of maintenance and not emergency repairs done at the behest of dissatisfied guests - I am talking ongoing preventative maintenance? Would it be in order to ask Sanparks about the fact that ALL the concessions will ultimately (in theory) be reverting to them in the next 5 - 10 years and request Sanparks to supply some assurance that these concessions are not simply going to be re-awarded to holders and how Sanparks envisages the management of same along with all of the proposed developments? It now appears that they have heeded the message that 2 days was insufficient notice and have postponed the Durban meeting to 3 June 2017.
Thu May 18, 2017 6:00 pm
I think we can ask anything, Penny!
The financial aspect is by far the most important, as it links everything together. DEA were asked a number of official questions re Kruger in Parliament in April already, to which they have not replied, way after the official limit!
Thu May 18, 2017 6:03 pm
Basically, there are a scary number of issues to be found here:viewforum.php?f=295
Sun May 21, 2017 9:00 am
One could divide suggestions into various categories? My suggestions:
1. Apply for Kruger to be declared an International Heritage Site.
2. Have these stakeholder meetings every year, preferably more, at the major centres as is. (Private financial assistance if required, although SANParks money is public money anyway)
3. These meetings be expanded to include discussion on ALL SANParks.
Communication and Interaction with Public
1. Newspapers and other National Media be approached to provide regular articles on Kruger news pertaining to developments, management projects, details of contact persons within all National Parks, conservation projects and poaching, and also results and minutes of Public Meetings and online consultation/stakeholder input mechanisms.
2. Notice of ALL public meetings be given a month in advance via national media, in addition to internet information, with detailed logistical information and agendas accompanying said notices from the outset, not later.
3. Minutes of Public and other important management meetings to be distributed electronically to stakeholders and NGO's within 10 days of said meetings, not just to those who managed to attend the meetings.
4. Public meetings and consultations to be held on Saturdays outside school and Public holidays.
5. A general change in attitude being made regarding taking the concerns of the public seriously, with special effort being made to address all concerns speedily. In other words, it must be accepted that Kruger management serves at the behest of the public.
1. An immediate cancellation or indefinite suspension of all commercialisation projects and new developments, including the following:
Skukuza Safari Lodge
Malelane Safari Lodge
Century City Gate
Phalaborwa Wildlife Activity Hub and Lodge
Punda Maria Hotel
Nkuhlu Tented Camp
Mobile Tented Safari Experiences
Mobile Spas and Wellness Centres
Kruger Tree Canopy Camps
Tshokwane Tented Birding Camp
Selati Bridge Train Accommodation
2. Private access roads not be allowed from Letaba Riverside Lodge, and Mdjejane Gate be permanently closed.
The need for all of the above remains questionable, if not unethical, and has not been scientifically or properly been established. The financial implications of the projects are unquantified and potentially disastrous. Kruger can not afford any more visitors, it is already overfull. New developments also mean extra private contractors and vehicles, contributing to security concerns regarding rhino poaching.
Future development will occur naturally as concession Camps and roads pass into SANParks hands eventually. Kruger accommodation costs have also been increasing annually at far more than the inflation rate.
1. It is recommended that all shop and restaurant franchises be consolidated under a single brand each. This will reduce supply chain traffic. It will also eliminate the need for a variety of agreements with different providers, which leads to potential inconsistencies and increased chances of corrupt dealings as oversight is made more difficult. A single franchise may also make labour negotiations far more efficient, leading to fewer disruptions.
Rhino and other poaching
1. Random lifestyle audits must be done on all employees, regardless of rank, right up to potentially CEO level.
2. All persons found to have contributed to poaching must be named and shamed relentlessly and nationally, with progress on arrests and prosecutions being made public extensively on a monthly basis.
3. Private security firms must be employed to do random DETAILED searches of vehicles at any place in the Park, from entry points to camps to staff villages to open roads. This fact must be stipulated under the terms and conditions of entry into Kruger/employment by visitors, conference attendees, staff and contractors. The contract with the security company must be heavily performance-based and short-term in nature, pending renewal.
4. All staff villages must be comprehensively searched on a regular basis. Unwarranted persons must be arrested, not evicted.
5. Staff visitors may only enter at Skukuza and Phalaborwa gates. All vehicles are to be FULLY searched at a point slightly within the Park from there. This should form part of the terms of employment for all Kruger employees.
6. All staff and staff guest vehicles are to be fitted with a temporary electronic tag, which will monitor movement and times. The tags must be issued and collected by private security at the gates.
7. All Kruger rhino sales must be indefinitely suspended, and the holding bomas be converted to a rhino orphanage in cooperation with experienced private orphanage workers.
8. The existence of incident-reporting and whistleblowing numbers and apps must be more actively promoted via all means possible to tourists, and via national media. Extra staff and incentives must be provided in this regard.
9. A far greater amount of pressure must be brought to bear on our foreign relations departments regarding cross-border cooperation with Mozambique. Kruger management and the Board has a very strong voice, regarding which it underestimates itself, as do its many foreign visitors.
10. Greater emphasis must be placed on video surveillance at gates, including numberplate recognition technology linked to the criminal database. Defective equipment must be replaced instantly, with reserve equipment kept at each gate.
With regard to funding of all the above, donor agencies may be approached regarding "adopting" very specific projects/gates, which they can monitor, rather than having them pour money into a general antipoaching fund, which is putting many donors off as time goes by.
Political Oversight and Self-promotion by Kruger at National Level
1. All major commercial developments in Kruger should be submitted to the Parliamentary Sub-committee on Environmental Affairs for approval, not just the Department.
2. Greater emphasis must be placed on cooperation with all conservation NGO's, not just preferred or selected ones. This should take the form of electronic media discussions on a monthly basis with a database of registered and invited stakeholders.
3. An independent study must be undertaken by a professional or academic institution to establish how much income and employment Kruger generates INDIRECTLY. This would include the money spent by the average visitor from booking to returning home. This would include factors such as like travel agent fees, fuel purchases, toll fees, airline costs, vehicle hire costs, local curio and grocery purchases, local accommodation purchases by day visitors and foreign exchange benefits.
And the employment created by all of the above.
The astronomical benefits that will be revealed by the above study will dispel the myth that Kruger needs to commercialise to pay for itself and the other Parks, as it is more than entitled to demand financial government assistance in the event of any shortfalls.
Sun May 21, 2017 6:29 pm
Your suggestions are excellent!
What about using those? Would it look stupid if we all send the same list? or rather that several persons have the same problems with the Sanparks' politics??
Sun May 21, 2017 11:12 pm
Mon May 22, 2017 9:17 am
The Project Management is urging me to send my responses/questions according to their 7 questions.
Mon May 22, 2017 9:28 am
Don't know...maybe members can just bear the questions/suggestions in the back of their minds?
Comments needed here too, a bit?
What is the format required...not that it is compulsory, I'm sure!
Mon May 22, 2017 9:43 am
It sounds like it. I am afraid that they will not consider the input, if their format is not followed
1. Please indicate your specific interest in the KNP Management Plan review.
2. What were the key issues addressed through the current Management Plan (programmes) in which you have an interest.
3. What is changing in the KNP and surrounding area context which you as a stakeholder believe we should consider in the management plan review.
4. What are the key vital attributes/key features (uniqueness) to be considered as part of the KNP Management Plan review (KNP and broader environment)?
5. What are the current perceived key drivers/challenges/gaps/threats that need to be considered in the KNP Management Plan?
6. What are the opportunities to be considered as part of the KNP Management Plan review?
7. What would you suggest that the KNP need to consider/ amend e.g. in terms of the focus, approach, actions, prioritisation etc. for the development of the KNP Management Plan/lower level plans?