Friday, April 1, 2011
After its recent quarterly meeting, the board of South African National Parks (SANParks) confirmed that it still stood by the decision to develop two safari hotels in the Kruger National Park. In the meeting, the board agreed that the decision to develop the hotels was within its mandate as a key responsibility to the continued sustainability and financial viability of the organisation. In a statement issued to the media, SanParks said commercialisation continued to be a policy of the board. It said it was based on sound decision-making and that nowhere in the world had an accommodation facility destroyed the ecology of a park, and invited anyone to bring such scientific evidence to the table. SANParks confirmed the appointment of Professor Willem van Riet, a former SANParks board member, as the Project Co-ordinator for both the Malelane Lodge and Skukuza Conference Lodge. The statement said that Professor van Riet had extensive experience in conservation, landscaping and development of tourism facilities in ecologically sensitive areas and was responsible for the development of the Berg-En-Dal rest camp in the Kruger National Park.