Department of Environmental Affairs mourns the passing of Senior Transfrontier Conservation Areas official in an accident

31 July 2018

 

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, has expressed shock and sadness at the death of the Director of Transfrontier Conservation Areas in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Mr Ernest Mokganedi. Mr Mokganedi was killed in a motorcycle accident in the Magalies area of North West on Saturday, 28 July 2018, in which two fellow motorcyclists were seriously injured.

“Mr Mokganedi was instrumental in establishing, managing and extending the Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) in Southern Africa having grown this network of conservation areas from a concept to the successful reality it is today,” said Minister Molewa.

“His role and commitment to ensuring that all the countries linked through the TFCAs in Southern Africa benefited from these areas will always be recognised.”

Ernest Mokganedi was appointed to head the TFCA programme within the Department in 2002, when the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area was established between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

He had led numerous multi-stakeholder forums in implementing the complex cross- border conservation areas, and had chaired numerous international meetings, coordinated planning, financing and the development of infrastructure projects within the TFCA.

Mr Mokganedi was a member of the Tshwane Legends Bikers Club leading a drive since 2017 to promote unity between motorcyclists in the SADC region.

Members of the Club have most recently visited Namibia and Botswana to promote tourism in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson also expressed shock and sadness at Ernest’s untimely departure. “We re devastated. Our hearts are broken. We will always remember Ernest for his unwavering commitment to expanding conservation throughout the Southern African region.”

The Director-General of the Department, Mrs Nosipho Ngcaba said: “Ernest’s sudden passing has left all members of the DEA family in shock. We are profoundly saddened by the loss of not only a key member of the Department’s team, but also a team member who had become a friend to many.”

Ernest’s passion for the development of tourism and promotion of conservation within Southern Africa to the benefit of all communities’ lives will be profoundly missed.

The Department will communicate funeral details after engagements with the family.

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Albi Modise
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