South African National Parks (SANParks) Chief Executive Officer Hapiloe Sello has 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 (DFFE) is intended to improve visitor experience at various national parks under SANParks’ management.
SANParks is currently managing an infrastructure portfolio of approximately R16-billion. Most of the current infrastructure was developed in the 1970’s, making it urgent for re-capitalisation.
This is because tourism accommodation units are critical to generate much-needed revenue to support operations.
This means the fulfilment of its holistic conservation mandate is heavily reliant on thriving and sustainable tourism operations.
With various infrastructure upgrades under way, an appeal is made for patience from visitors to affected national parks who might be impacted on with delays or lack of access as some facilities are undergoing a facelift.
Facilities that will be impacted include tourist units, main buildings in rest camps and roads, in various national parks across the seven provinces.
The R700 million injection will be used to implement the following high-impact projects:
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 (PPP)..
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 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 Kruger National Park will have a huge intervention with 70% (147) of the units due for upgrade.
Upgrade of main buildings in Shingwedzi and Satara Rest Camps – Kruger National Park
Upgrade and renovations of 40% (66) Bungalows in Satara Rest Camp – Kruger National Park
Upgrading of Bungalows in Olifants Rest Camp – Kruger National Park
Punda Maria luxury tents upgrade – Kruger National Park
Sweni Trails Camp revamp – Kruger National Park
Construction of 120 new staff accommodation units, and the upgrade of a further 158 units – Kruger National Park
Upgrade of tourism facilities, interpretive centre, roads, and fences and the construction of 6 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 8 new units in the Main Camp and ten new Lendlovu Lodge units.
Upgrade of the Namibian border fence, road, and replacement of Twee Rivieren camp site ablution - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Construction of park management office, new R27 entrance gate, upgrade of the Duinepos Chalets - West Coast National Park.