Food parcels and water tanks donated to most destitute communities bordering Kruger National Park

24 April 2020
 

The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy, today led a SANParks initiative to distribute food parcels and water tanks to vulnerable communities bordering the Kruger National Park in both Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

“Because of the national Covid-19 lockdown, tourism, which is the main source of income for these communities, has dried up.  This has affected the well-being of the families reliant on tourism for an income. That is why we decided to try and make their lives a little easier in these trying times,” said the Minister.

Most national parks, if not all, are situated in rural areas affected by poverty, unemployment and a range of other socio- economic problems.  These communities rely on the national parks for their survival, either through jobs or business opportunities.

“This period requires all of us to join hands to assist the most vulnerable members of society in our country,” the Minister said. 

Funding for the initiative, which is being extended to communities bordering national parks countrywide, has been sourced from the SANParks Honorary Rangers and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

A total of R6 million will be used to purchase food parcels, hygiene products, education materials and water tanks. A total of 7 500 families will be supported nationally.

The Minister, supported by SANParks CEO, Mr Fundisile Mketeni and senior SANParks officials, handed out the much-needed support to members of the Mdluli and MahauleTraditional Authorities, and Mnisi Traditional Authority and Amashangana Tribal Authority in Mpumalanga, and the Gidjani and Bevhula Traditional Authorities in Limpopo.

The 1 500 parcels included a bar of soap, cleaning detergents, masks and groceries. The 80 water tanks have been installed in the most water stressed villages within these traditional authorities.

“We will ensure that these donations benefit families that have been identified as vulnerable during this unprecedented time,” said Creecy.   “We are aware that children, unemployed women and old people living with small children head some of the families. It’s important that as we hand over these much-needed food parcels, we ensure that help is provided directly where it is needed most.”

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