Agulhas National Park Practically Engaging with Communities

Agulhas National Park Practically Engaging with Communities

Gansbaai Courant

Two years of behind the scenes negotiating, research about local needs and deciding on what the park can offer local communities finally bore fruit on Friday 25th September 2015 when the park delivered 9 truckloads of wood to the nearby communities of Buffelsjagsbaai, Pearly Beach and Gansbaai. Under  the  leadership  of  ANP  Park Management, Park Manager Miss Bulelwa Msengi actively encouraged her staff to make an effort to engage the neighbouring communities of the  Overstrand municipal area. These communities were identified simply because they did not directly benefit from the Park as envisaged.  Moreover  the  action  also  resulted  in  training  for  staff including the Working for Water chain saw operators, who ultimately were responsible for felling and chopping the large blue gum trees in the Ratelrivier area of the park.  “ANP  wants  to  live out the SANParks vision statement: connecting to society”, said Msengi.  However before the Park could  initiate  any action an important stakeholder, Mr F. Myburgh, the Overstrand Area Manager, had to be consulted and informed of the park’s intention to deliver the much needed  wood to  the  Buffelsjagsbaai, Pearly Beach and Gansbaai communities.

He unequivocally offered his support for the initiative said Msengi.  Three  truck  loads  each  were  dropped  off  at   central points where the wood could be  easily  accessed  by  community  members  and  judging  by  the reaction of the recipients the gift was well received. The Park Manager and her staff came face to face with the reality of living in these communities, they also developed empathy for the challenges these communities experienced on a daily basis and hope that this initiative is the first of many and  that the relationship with local communities in close proximity to the park can only improve.

Alliston Appel

Agulhas National Park Practically Engaging with Communities

Alliston Appel

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