SANParks clarifies staff residing in KNP accommodation

Posted on 13 July 2020

South African National Parks (SANParks) Chief Executive Officer, Fundisile Mketeni, clarified that staff temporarily residing in tourist accommodation has nothing to do with overnight facilities remaining closed. These facilities remained closed under Level 3 lockdown.

The announcement came after visitors to Kruger National Park allegedly saw staff members ‘doing laundry’ and having ‘loud parties’ in tourist accommodation, sparking debates on social media groups. The original posts have since been taken down by administrative members while awaiting a statement from SANParks.

From the early announcements in March about COVID-19 until today SANParks, like any other organisation, has had to reconfigure some of its practices in response to the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Mketeni said this included arrangement of temporary accommodation for staff within the living quarters in various national parks. ‘The reality is that all sectors of society have a contribution to make in curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic – and this includes implementing extraordinary measures.’

Mketeni stated, to this end, with the introduction of a lockdown, SANParks as with many other employers encouraged most employees to work from home and only a limited number remained in various parks as part of essential services these include rangers, anti-poaching officials, and infrastructure maintenance personnel.

To reduce cross contamination risks among staff residing in the parks, some staff members have been temporarily accommodated in a portion of tourism facilities in a number of national parks.

‘This situation has provided an opportunity to carry out much needed maintenance and improvements to staff accommodation,’ he added.

Mketeni concluded by stating these unusual circumstances of staff being accommodated in tourist facilities has no bearing on overnight facilities in the national parks remaining closed. ‘The Parks are unable to open to overnight visitors due to the fact that leisure tourism is not yet permitted under Level 3 Lockdown.’


Image credit: Getaway gallery

yoast-primary -
tcat - Travel news
tcat_slug - travel-news
tcat2 -
tcat2_slug -
tcat_final -