THE CEO APPRECIATES RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AMAKHOSI AND iSIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK
11 January 2024
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, Mr Sibusiso Bukhosini gave New Year gifts to Amakhosi of uMkhanyakude District as part of appreciating the relation that the park has with traditional leadership. iSimangaliso Wetland Park is located in uMkhanyakude District, within twelve traditional leadership from kwaSokhulu right up to kwaTembe in Manguzi near Mozambique border. On the 05th of January 2024, Mr Bukhosini clearly showed his eagerness to continue strengthening the relationship with Amakhosi. Previously, iSimangaliso was characterized by frequent community upheavals due to multiple dissatisfactions from local communities and the traditional leadership about the park. This was mainly because they perceived lack of their inclusivity in decision-making on matters related to the park management. The current iSimangaliso leadership is working tirelessly to ensure that communities neighbouring the park are involved in various park activities, and primarily prioritise local communities to benefit from iSimangaliso Wetland Park in terms of jobs and business opportunities.
While handing over gifts, Mr Bukhosini mentioned that he appreciates all traditional leaders for their involvement in conservation and benefiting their communities. “Today, I want to highly appreciate the great relationship that iSimangaliso has with Amakhosi. As iSimangaliso, we are given a task to do conservation in the land that is within traditional leadership from iNkosi uSokhulu right up to iNkosi uTembe. One would remember that relationship between conservation structures and communities was not good. As iSimangaliso, we have created structures that will work with Amakhosi to ensure there is good relationship with traditional leaderships”, said Mr Bukhosini. Last year September, Mr Bukhosini met the Forum of Amakhosi where he introduced himself as a re-appointed CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This gesture shows how he recognises and values Amakhosi as part of iSimangaliso’s critical stakeholders.
INkosi Gumede (Chairperson of Amakhosi) said, they are delighted of what iSimangaliso has done to appreciate them as Amakhosi. This shows great relationship between iSimangaliso and traditional leaders. He further said, “we are working together with iSimangaliso in a way that, iSimangaliso informs us when they are hiring. There is a huge transformation in the leadership of this park. Before, it was difficult to have engagements with iSimangaliso but now it is easy to engage if there are any complaints from communities”. Recently, iSimangaliso has employed 2 000 to work in the EPWP program, they are all from the 12 traditional leadership. They are on the field in these municipalities; Mhlabuyalingana local municipality, Big 5 Hlabisa local municipality, Jozini local municipality and Mtubatuba local municipality. They are cleaning towns, picnic sites, roads, dump sites, etc. The following table demonstrate other job opportunities created by iSimangaliso:
iSimangaliso Wetland Park management will continue to work closely with the traditional leadership within uMkhanyakude District, and try to reduce high unemployment rate in this district known to be a poverty node. -End-