Deputy Minister Sotyu delivers food hampers to communities in Free State

30 April 2020

 

The Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Makhotso Sotyu today delivered food hampers to 250 households living in areas adjacent to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State.

“We felt that it is very important to look after these communities in this time of distress as they are unable to generate income using normal ways. We also encourage everyone around here to continue following the National Disaster Management regulations and take all the necessary precautions,” says Deputy Minister Sotyu.

The impact of the lockdown on tourism and hospitality industry in general, has also affected national Parks which has also resulted to huge losses in income for the many families reliant on tourism and related activities.

The donation is part of the South African National Parks response to Covid-19, through which 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.

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).

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.

The Deputy Minister was accompanied by the Free State MEC for Economic and Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Mr. Makalo Mohale.

On the 24th April, Minister Barbara Creecy, led a similar initiative of the distribution of food parcels and water tanks to vulnerable communities bordering the Kruger National Park in both Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

 

For media queries contact
Albi Modise (Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Head of Communications)
Cell: 083 490 2871 or

 

Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli (SANParks Acting Head of Communications)
Tel: 012 426 5203
Cell: 073 373 4999
E-mail: rey.thakhuli@sanparks.org

Issued jointly by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries and South African National Parks (SANParks).