SANParks Kudu awards honours contributors

Popo Scott was honoured for his long time service

Popo Scott was honoured for his long time service

Published Dec 2, 2023


Two long-time employees of the South African National Parks (SANParks) were among the recipients of the conservation heroes who were honoured during the 17th annual Kudu awards.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed on dedicated employees, Jose Mulhovo and the late Oom Popo Scott.

Mulhovo was awarded for 49 years of unbroken service in the Kruger National Park. Oom Popo Scott served SANParks for 45 years in Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park and was one of the founders of the popular Otter Trail.

SANParks supported by TotalEnergies and First National Bank (FNB) recognised deserving conservationists at this year’s annual Kudu Awards ceremony held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SANParks Hapiloe Sello, the awards now in its 17th year recognises internal and external stakeholders that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to sustainability, improving livelihoods and achieving real change on the ground in our national parks.

Sello said an understanding and support for conservation is of vital importance for us to realise protection of our national parks through means supported by all stakeholders and communities. “As part of this award function, various stakeholders are honoured and these include media houses, media practitioners, non-governmental organisations, schools, communities, corporates and individuals.

In the media category Suzanne Paxton from SABC RSG won Best Journalist: Radio for her in-depth story on the effects of climate change focusing on the Northern Cape. “Kruger Magazine” won the Best Publication: Print for their outstanding work covering a wide range of wildlife and valuable conservation stories in and around Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces.

Greening Afrika (Media Torque and Events) won the Best Publication: Online for their outstanding and tireless effort dedicated to covering an online story on the green economy for sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.

Some of the recipiants of the Kudu awards

The Innovation Award winner went to Mudau Phathutshedzo from Dziphathu Green Tech, in recognition of his efforts to incorporate scientific knowledge and expertise to efficiently collect biomass waste and convert it into eco-briquettes and for creating job opportunities for several young people in Venda, Limpopo.

The Women in Conservation Award winner went to Joslin Bauer for her contribution to sustainable conservation and leading the way in a bold and impactful manner in an industry that is underserved by female entrepreneurs.

TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa Managing Director and CEO, Mariam Kane-Garcia said: “Together, we have achieved so much in the preservation of our biodiversity, the protection of our water resources, and the implementation of circular resources management.”

She said TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa is committed to reducing our carbon footprint, promoting renewable energy solutions, and embracing innovative technologies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to actively contribute to a sustainable development of South Africa.

Sipho Silinda, CEO of FNB Public Sector Banking, meanwhile said the conservation of wildlife feeds directly into the tourism sector, an industry that remains resilient and is a fundamental contributor to the country’s economic growth.

“Conservation is one way to ensure the tourism sector can continue contributing to economic growth through job creation. Furthermore, our partnership with SANParks has taught us that environmental awareness is a journey rather than an event. We understand that we have a responsibility as a responsible citizen to conserve and protect the environment by actively getting involved in initiatives that are contributing to this cause."

The Awards evening which also included the Chief Executive Awards recognized dedication and selfless efforts of SANParks employees towards achieving the goals of SANParks’ mandate.

A total of 28 Chief Executive Awards were given out this year ranging from the Shield Award, Best Customer Service, Best Constituency Builder, Best Ranger Post, Best Performing Camp, Best Performing Park of the Year, Excellent Performance in the workplace, Best Performing Division, Best Leadership Award and Special Team Effort Award.

Pretoria News