SANParks responds to Cosatu complaint

2013-09-13 09:20
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SANParks week

It's SANParks week, which means locals have the opportunity to visit any of our amazing national parks for FREE. Send us pics of yourselves exploring your favourite park.

Johannesburg - SANParks came under fire from Cosatu for their SANParks Week free entry campaign that does not include Sundays.

The Star reports that Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich wrote SANParks an open letter to say the special offer was discriminatory and favoured the wealthy. 

He said that no working family could go to a national park during the week or on a Saturday, as this is when work has to be done to make ends meet, adding that if SANParks was serious about giving ordinary South Africans access to the "overpriced" national parks, they would make the offer available over weekends as well. 

SANParks chief executive David Mabunda responded to Ehrenreich's letter, saying that there were some "areas of misunderstanding or misinformation" in his correspondence. 

"Firstly I would like to inform you that SA National Parks Week is not a campaign aimed at promoting tourism during off-season. Our national parks rarely ever have what is referred to as off-season because they cater to different climates, interests and clients," Mabunda said, adding that it was aimed at teaching South Africans more about their natural heritage. 

Citing Ehrenreich's complaint about free access not being granted over weekends, Mabunda made three points including: SANParks makes 85% of its operating revenue and is therefore highly dependent on the revenue received from tourism paying clients, and that stretching SANParks Week into the weekend would be very hard on a number of national parks who depend on booked paying customers that utilize the weekends. 

"The Board and Management of SANParks are fully committed to the country's transformation agenda, hence we even started this campaign in 2006. The campaign is in support of our vision statement which is ‘SANParks connecting society.' We appreciate your interest in our business and wish to invite you to continue engaging us on issues of concern or interest to yourself," Mabunda concluded.

Did you make use of SANParks Week's free entry? Which park did you visit? Send us your pics to pics@news24travel.com

Read more on:    sanparks  |  travel  |  travel south africa
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