AMAKHOSI FORUM MET THE NEW CEO
19 September 2023
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Mr S. Bukhosini recently met Amakhosi Forum in the meeting held in Hluhluwe.
Department Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy re-appointed Mr Bukhosini following the submissions made by the Board of iSimangaliso. The Chairperson of the Board iNkosi Tembe formally introduced Mr Bukhosini as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority to Amakhosi Forum. Amakhosi applauded the re-appointment of the CEO, Mr Bukhosini then delivered his presentation on the iSimangaliso community related deliverables in the last 5 years of his term to the Forum. He highlighted some critical strides attained during his last term, including the expansion of marine protected area, improvement on infrastructure development, improved relationship with stakeholders, creating much needed job opportunities for local communities, just to mention few.
Mr Bukhosini show his desire to continue strengthening the relationship with Amakhosi because in the past, iSimangaliso was characterized by frequent community upheavals due to multiple dissatisfactions from local communities and the traditional leadership about the park; mainly because they perceived lack of their inclusivity in decision-making on matters related to the park management. iSimangaliso is within uMkhanyakude District, all traditional leaders of uMkhanyakude compose Amakhosi Forum. CEO Bukhosini urged Amakhosi forum to input and participate in the Board operation, because that could yield positive outcome. As part of nurturing relationship, Amakhosi has free park access. iSimangaliso will continue to work with traditional leadership as the establishment of Amakhosi Forum envisaged it.
The CEO also divulged to Amakhosi Forum that, iSimangaliso achieved clean audit opinion from the Auditor General of South Africa; he further mentioned that cheetahs are introduced in Mkuze section of the park, an initiative that improves conservation efforts and improving tourism experience in the park. However, Amakhosi had a special plea to make from the CEO. They requested that iSimngaliso should continue to partner with COGTA in coordinating their meetings but increase to two days so that they have adequate time to deliberate on community issues, particularly those related to the involvement of local communities in park management. This request received positive response and amakhosi applauded the CEO accordingly. “I know that the existence and sustainability of the park depends on harmonious relationship between the park management and the local communities”. Mr Bukhosini said.