Heritage Day

Published on 24 September 2022

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority Commemorate National Heritage Day

The rich heritage found in iSimangaliso Wetland Park is undoubtedly one of the reasons why it keeps attracting thousands of visitors across the globe. iSimangaliso stretches from Maphelane near St Lucia right up to Kosi Bay in the Mozambique boarder. It is the second largest protected area in South Africa. In December 1999 it was listed as South Africa’s World Heritage site in recognition of its unique global values, the beauty and biological wealth. It became the first site in South Africa to be recognized as a World Heritage Site. This status was accorded by the United Nations Environment Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This fragile combination of natural beauty and social diversity has elevated the iSimangaliso Wetland Park to the status of an icon in the history of environmental struggle in South Africa as former President Nelson Mandela himself during his speech marking the historic 2002 reintroduction of elephants to the Eastern Shores of the Lake St Lucia said that, “The Wetland Park must be the only place on the globe where the world’s oldest land mammal (the Rhinoceros) and the world’s biggest terrestrial mammal (the Elephant) share an ecosystem with the world’s oldest Fish (the Coelacanth) and the world’s biggest marine mammal (the Whale).” 

iSimangaliso has good relationship with 12 Traditional Councils from uMkhanyakude District Municipality. uMkhanyakude is known as the poverty node over years, iSimangaliso therefore has seen a need to expand community upliftment programmes given the challenges faced by communities living in and adjacent to the park tackling the issues of high unemployment, poverty alleviation and inequality. Rural enterprise programme has been launched to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs within uMkhanyakude District. To date the programme has evolved and assisted 430 enterprises with business skills development, capacity building and grant financing. There are over 7 active alien plants remover contractors that were appointed from the local communities with each contractor employing not less than 12 employees as beneficiaries. It is believed that education is the key to success, a ladder has been laid for 200 Groen Sebenza Interns and 130 environmental monitors who are currently on the ground.

Statement issued by iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority
Media enquires contact:
Mr Bheki Manzini
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