SANParks team that recaptured 'Sylvester the Lion' twice awarded at 12th Kudu Awards

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

Staff in the Frontier Region of South African National Parks (SANParks) walked away with no fewer than five Chief Executive Awards at this year’s 12th Kudu Awards ceremony hosted at Gallagher Estate in Gauteng on Friday. 

The Frontier Region is made up of Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Garden Route, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks.  The awards are hosted annually in partnership with Total SA and First National Bank.

Fundisile Mketeni SANParks CEO, said that the Kudu Awards recognises internal and external stakeholders for their vital contribution in making South African National Parks the custodian of choice for the national parks system in South Africa.

“These awards honour people for their meaningful contributions to the protection of the environment through various means which reflects society’s admirable social responsibility - giving meaning to the SANParks vision of ‘A Sustainable National Parks System Connecting Society’.”

The Karoo Lion Search Team, who successfully returned the escaped “Sylvester the Lion” back to Karoo National Park on two separate occasions received The Shield Award (for Bravery).  This award is bestowed on a group or individual, who has shown extraordinary bravery to save a colleague, tourist or any person or animal’s life under any circumstances, with specific reference to work related situations. 

Another Karoo National Park staff member, albeit a newly retired one, Anna Kamfer, won the prestigious Lifetime Contribution Award, for her 38 years of service to the organisation. This award goes to a staff member who has made a significant contribution to SANParks over an extensive, unbroken career.  

Anna began her part-time career at SANParks in 1976 as a hut attendant in the old Kalahari Gemsbok Park now known as Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, before being permanently employed in 1978. In 1999 she moved to Karoo National Park with a promotion to Rest Camp Supervisor, a position she’s been filling with great professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication ever since.

In the category Excellent Performance in the Workplace, Garden Route National Park’s Marine Biologist, Kyle Smith, received recognition for his outstanding work over the past financial year.  This award is based on excellent performance beyond the normal call of duty depicted by the use of innovative and creative measures in meeting organisational objectives where in certain cases it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the relevant objectives. 

Another individual winner on the night was Mountain Zebra National Park’s People and Conservation Officer, Mxolisi Fulumente, who won the Best Constituency Builder Award.  This is an award based on positive measures employed in engaging communities by building relations in accordance with the People and Conservation ideals of the organisation. 

The fifth award, for the Best Performing Division/Business Unit, will take pride of place in Addo Elephant National Park – as won by its Game Drives Department.   This highly efficient and profitable business unit plays a significant role in generating very important revenue for both the Frontier Region and SANParks as a whole. 

In the SANParks Tourism category “Highest Activities per 100 Overnight Guests” this business unit was classified in the Park Category as the second best of all national parks and came in at first place in the Camp Category.

Regional General Manager, Dries Engelbrecht, said he was exceptionally proud to work with such a high calibre of staff. 

“These employees are a good example of the quality of staff we have working in our national parks.  Their dedication, passion and loyalty is evident in everything they do, and receiving these awards will go a long way in not only motivating them to carry on in this fashion, but also see their colleagues striving for better.  I am very proud of them, as well as all our other staff members who were nominated,” said Engelbrecht.

Images: 1- Members of the Karoo lion search team and retired Karoo National Park Rest Camp Supervisor; 2 - Anna Kamfer, with their spoils from the 12th annual SANParks Kudu Awards.