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iSimangaliso supporting community development, sport and conservation

iSimangaliso supporting community development, sport and conservation

4 Feb 2019

In December 2018, the annual Dukuduku Sports Tournament hosted by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority received a fantastic welcome and turnout by the young sportsmen and women neighbouring the southern section of the World Heritage Site.

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Soccer is one of the two sports contested in the annual Dukuduku Sports Tournament, the grand finale of the year’s matches.

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Left: The Khula Spurs were the soccer victors of the day! Right: The eZwenelisha Netball team celebrates their second place achievement with iSimangaliso’s Slindile Msweli (front).

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Congratulating the members of the respective sports teams as they received the smart new iSimangaliso soccer and netball kits were Nombuso Mlambo (People and Parks representative), Victor Fakude (local sports personal), Joseph Thethwayo (Chairperson Dukuduku Land Claimants), Petros Ncube (People and Parks representative) and Councillor Bonginkosi Zulu from Dukuduku Ward 04.

Launched in 2017, the event is the product of the ongoing hard work by Khula SMME and environmentalist Raymond Langa, whose energy and enthusiasm for his community brought the project to fruition. Driven by a desire to create a better environment and future for the youth of his area, Ray has built sound initiatives that see environmental education being introduced in local schools. Simultaneously he believes that popular sport is a way to bring the youth together and provide a platform to communicate the messages that both he and iSimangaliso wish to spread.

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The issue of litter and correct disposal was one of the messages communicated to the youngsters, who enthusiastically cleaned up the sports ground ahead of the tournament.

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Commemorating World Wetlands Day (2 February), Ray once again led a group of youngsters from the Ubuhlebemvelo Primary School on a wetlands clean-up in Khula Village adjacent to the Western Shores section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Central to Ray’s mission is the issue of wetland rehabilitation, with his home in Khula village being surrounded by important wetlands. “These waters form part of the uMphathe River catchment, which flows into Lake St Lucia,” he notes. “So if we can remove litter and alien vegetation from our own wetlands, this ultimately helps the Lake as well. And the Lake is the centrepiece of the World Heritage Site, with its many opportunities for our young people such as tourism and conservation management positions.”

iSimangaliso Area Manager Robert Mhlongo agreed that “this event serves a very important role in visibly demonstrating iSimangaliso’s commitment to youth development and community conservation initiatives. We thank those community leaders who honoured us with their presence on the day as well as their support throughout the year. We were also delighted to have the SABC as well as local radio station Rise FM covering our event again and helping to spread the awareness of our efforts.”

Media enquiries should be directed to Debbie Cooper at debbie@isimangaliso.com.

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