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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


National parks to receive a much-needed facelift

R700 million has been allocated to insfrastructure investment over three years, with the aim to improve visitor experience.


SA National Parks (SANParks) chief executive officer Hapiloe Sello yesterday announced the allocation of an additional R700 million for infrastructure investment over the next three years.

This allocation by the department of forestry, fisheries and environment is intended to improve visitor experience at various national parks under SANParks’ management.

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“SANParks is currently managing an infrastructure portfolio of approximately R16 billion. Most of the current infrastructure was developed in the ’70s, making it urgent for recapitalisation,” Sello said.

“This is because tourism accommodation units are critical to generate much-needed revenue to support operations.”

SANParks generates about 80% of its operating budget from ecotourism. With various infrastructure upgrades underway, an appeal was made for patience from visitors to affected national parks who may be impacted with delays or lack of access as some are undergoing facelifts.

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Facilities affected include tourist units, main buildings in rest camps and roads in various national parks across the seven provinces.

The projects include:

• Tokai Precinct bulk services infrastructure upgrade in Table Mountain National Park to unlock various public private partnership (PPP) opportunities.

• Rhodes Memorial bulk services and roads in Table Mountain National Park to unlock the restaurant public private partnership.

• Tar road maintenance at Cape Point section, Table Mountain National Park.

• Shangoni Entrance Gate development in the north of Kruger National Park will continue with the construction of river crossings and the upgrading of the gravel road.

• Phalaborwa Activity Hub in Kruger National Park will be further developed to accommodate tourists at a backpacker’s lodge, main activity hub, and swimming pool area.

• Skukuza Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park will have a huge intervention with 70%, or 147, of the units due for an upgrade.

• Upgrade of main buildings in Shingwedzi and Satara Rest Camps in the Kruger National Park.

• Upgrade and renovations of 40% (66) Bungalows in Satara Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park.

• Upgrading of bungalows in Olifants Rest Camp in the Kruger.

• Punda Maria luxury tents upgrade in the Kruger. v Sweni Trails Camp revamp, also in the Kruger.

• Construction of 120 new staff accommodation units and the upgrade of a further 158 units in the Kruger.

• Upgrade of tourism facilities, interpretive centre, roads, and fences and the construction of six new staff houses in Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site.

• Upgrade of Nyathi Rest Camp in Addo Elephant National Park and tourism roads to support the eight new units in the main camp and 10 new Lendlovu Lodge units.

• Upgrade of the Namibian border fence, road, and replacement of Twee Rivieren camp site ablution in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

• Construction of park management office, a new R27 entrance gate and the upgrade of the Duinepos Chalets in the West Coast National Park.

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Kruger National Park SANParks wildlife

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