The South African National Parks (SANParks) has made available R18.1m for the development of the Dawid Kruiper Rest Camp within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, says Environmental Affairs Minister Dr Edna Molewa. This was agreed to in 2015 by SANParks and the ‡Khomani San.
"The development is taking place in the area between the Heritage Park and Auob River - the area in which the community has preferential commercial development rights in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the so-called V-zone (Voorkeur zone), running between the Heritage Park and Auob River," Minister Molewa said.
Planning for the rest camp has started. It will consist of tourist accommodation units, reception building, and living quarters, swimming pool, parking, associated infrastructure as well as access and internal roads.
"The selection of the site, as well as the concept design for the proposed chalets, were done with the inputs from the Bushmen Council," Minister Molewa said. The Environmental Impact Assessment process is presently being undertaken with the Environmental Authorisation anticipated by end of January 2018. The new Rest Camp is expected to open in July 2019.
‡Khomani Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage Site
The Minister officially marked the listing of the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage Site at Tweerivieren in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
The ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee during its 41st Session in Poland in July 2017. The inscription increases the number of South Africa World Heritage Sites to nine.
"In May 2002, the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities reached a historic land settlement agreement with the government of South Africa and SANParks.
"The agreement saw a land restored to the communities that had once roamed or farmed the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP)," Minister Molewa said.
The settlement is in line with government's programme to ensure equitable redress for communities that have launched land claims on national and provincial parks.
Supporting sustainable growth of the community
Part of the 2002 agreement was that the Department of Environmental Affairs together with SANParks would translocate wildlife to one of the ‡Khomani San properties in order to establish a game ranch.
"The aim of the game ranch has been to create a sustainable income to create employment and support economic growth within the community in line with the government's National Development Plan goal of creating an environmentally sustainable, climate change resilient, low-carbon economy and just society by 2030, in line with government's Nine-Point Plan to reignite growth and create jobs," Molewa said. She said the National Biodiversity Economy Strategy is the government's plan to optimise the economic potential of the wildlife and bioprospecting sectors in South Africa.
Among its aims is to promote a new generation of partnerships between protected areas, the private sector and communities to assist with the transformation agenda.
"In terms of the management agreement, SANParks will run the rest camp, with 50% of the profit going to the ‡Khomani San. This model will result in the lowest overheads with highest returns for both parties," Minister Molewa said.