At a three-day Board Strategy workshop currently underway in Ballito, near Durban, iSimangaliso has resolved to strengthen partnerships with its strategic partners to further improve the direction of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority. Present at the meeting are all board members and executive management of iSimangaliso, together with strategic partners, including Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, KZN Tourism, the Chairperson of uMkhanyakude District traditional leaders, and People and Parks representatives. Also present are partners from the business sector, such as SiyaQhubeka Forestry, Ghost Mountain Inn, Destiny lodges (Radisson), who have shared their learnings and experiences gained in running their respective businesses.
To shape the discussions, the meeting listened to presentations from various organisations on topics such as:
- government programmes and shareholders priorities (Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment);
- conservation and management of a World Heritage Site (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife);
- partnerships on project packaging and investment (TIKZN); and
- rebranding iSimangaliso as a tourism destination (TKZN).
Reflecting on iSimangaliso’s performance in the previous financial year, the CEO shared the news that iSimangaliso has achieved 100% of its targets set for the 2020/21 financial year. This news was warmly welcomed by the board members and other attendees, who applauded the CEO and his team for the outstanding performance under the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The big challenge is for us to continue maintaining 100% performance to the future,” said, Mr Bukhosini, CEO of iSimangaliso. “I continue to further commit ourselves to work tirelessly to achieving a clean audit,” he added.
The mood of the discussions can be described as robust, frank, and open. It is expected that the meeting will address questions such as whether iSimangaliso should go for the route of commercialisation to become self-sustainable and address the challenge of dependence on government funding. Reflecting on the relationship between iSimangaliso and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, especially within communities living adjacent to the park, the Chairperson of the Board, Prof T Nzama, emphasized that it will be important to strengthen partnerships and collaboration with various strategic partners going forward.
Additional attendees include Inkosi Tembe (also the Deputy Chairperson of the Board), Inkosi Gumede (Chairperson of uMkhanyakude District Traditional Council), Mr Dlulane (CEO of Ezemvelo), Ms Makwakwa (A/CEO of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal), and Mr Nkosi (Acting Deputy Director General DFFE).
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