As the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority continues its process of growth, transformation and capacity building with personnel from areas adjacent to the World Heritage Site, the organisation announced last week the appointment of two new Executive Managers who started in their new posts on 1 August 2019. Mr Caiphus Khumalo, formerly of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, has been appointed Executive Manager: Socio-Economic Development, and Mr Jabulani Ngubane has left Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to become the Executive Manager: Tourism and Business Development. According to iSimangaliso Communications and PR Manager, Bheki Manzini, “the iSimangaliso Board members have applauded the ability of the organisation to attract interest from professionals living around the Park.”
Caiphus Khumalo holds a Master of Science degree in Conservation Biology obtained from the University of Cape Town. He holds almost 20 years’ experience in protected areas management and related work. Following the dawn of South Africa’s democratic dispensation, Caiphus was fortunate to be amongst the first cohort of black nature conservation scientists to be employed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. He became the first black ecologist to be based in the field providing ecological advice to protected areas managers.
Through his diligence in the workplace, he advanced relatively fast within the organisation, progressively assuming several positions to reach the position of Senior Ecological Advice Manager. He was commended within the organisation for his endless and remarkable efforts of ensuring harmonious working relationship between protected areas managers and scientists.
During his tenure at Ezemvelo, he was also known for the critical role he played in spearheading the climate change awareness campaign through radio shows, TV interviews, newspaper articles, educational and information dissemination through marches and street demonstrations, and website updates pre- and post-Climate Change COP 17 hosted by South Africa in Durban in 2011.
Khumalo then advanced to national Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) where he held a Director position for Protected Areas Governance. Within this position, he was responsible for coordination of national protected areas transformation programme, South Africa’s protected areas management effectiveness and protected areas international support. Some significant strides attained while in the national department include presiding over the coordination and implementation of a People and Parks Programme, with its latest conference graced and opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Other notable milestones include setting up an ongoing national system of evaluating protected areas management effectiveness which has led to South Africa being recognised as one of the international leaders in this workspace/realm.
Through international governance support, Khumalo facilitated the increase of the number of internationally listed UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserves for South Africa from 6 to 10. He has travelled extensively to all continents making presentations or partaking in international debates and workshops.
After a six-month secondment to iSimangaliso from DEA, Khumalo has been appointed to iSimangaliso as the Executive Manager: Socio-Economic Development, a position in which he believes he will excel given his enormous national and international exposure on similar work.
Jabulani Ngubane has been at the epicentre of conservation for almost two decades and acts as a think tank with a wealth of applied knowledge in conservation and tourism operations. He has held various senior management positions in these fields within Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and has worked in the following protected areas among others: The iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Hluhluwe Game Reserve, iMfolozi Game Reserve, Ndumo Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park, and the Richards Bay Marine section where he provided strategic direction in biodiversity conservation and tourism operations to ensure protected area management effectiveness. His cutting edge fund raising skills and interpersonal relations secured over R200 million in donor funding for various conservation and social projects in the KZN Province.
His formal qualifications are as follows: National Diploma in Nature Conservation (MUT); B-Tech/Honours Degree in Tourism Management (DUT); Certificate in Integrated Protected Area Planning (UKZN); Certificate in Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (USA Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs). He has been at the coalface of rhino poaching for almost 20 years and he authored the current KZN rhino security plan with other iMfolozi Management in 2003. He co-authored the book African Animals with Kay Daw from Australia for the Uthando Project for the orphans of Kwa-Zulu Natal as a social responsibility program.
- He championed the ‘Save the Rhino’ campaign in KZN Province in 2011
- Bravery award winning with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Board 2006
- Biodiversity Conservation excellence with Ilanga newspaper June 2008
- Provided a guest expert opinion on climate change with SABC National television programme Shift
- Provided expert opinion on Bay TV regarding the rhino poaching debate
- Provided expert opinion on rhino conservation and protection with Ukhozi FM, East Coast radio, SAFM and 5FM
- Spearheaded the rhino protection initiative with Durban Chamber of Commerce
- Part of the RSA delegation to Ethiopia on P/A design
- Pioneered several conservation ideas in KZN including Ezemvelo Cup; Fallen Rangers memorial plaque in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
- He is a current member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and current Chair of KwaZulu-Natal Rhino Management Group
- In 2014 he was selected by the US Embassy to represent South Africa on the Obama International Leadership Program
He is known for his hard work ethics and getting the job done as well as his resilience and bravery in difficult situations.
iSimangaliso CEO Sibusiso Bukhosini welcomed the new executives, saying that “with the increased capacity and expertise brought with them into the organisation, iSimangaliso can now deliver even more effectively on its mandate and strategy to synchronise the link between conservation, tourism and stakeholder relations, seeking to be one of inclusive economic growth through expanding opportunities for all.”
“Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting our new Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in iSimangaliso. We took the opportunity to appraise her of pressing ecological and infrastructure issues and challenges facing the Park – including swamp forest destruction, the shrinking of Lake Sibaya and the uMsunduze River floodplain inundation – as well as opportunities for development in the least visited northern areas of the Park. We look forward to her, and the Department’s, guidance and support of our efforts to deliver on our mission to protect, preserve and present iSimangaliso’s World Heritage values for current and future generations, whilst benefiting communities living in and adjacent to the Park, by facilitating optimal tourism and related development,” said Bukhosini.
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