Johannesburg - Fundisile Mketeni was appointed as the CEO of the SA National Parks (SANParks), the environmental affairs department said on Thursday.
Cabinet approved Mketeni's appointment on Wednesday, on a five-year contract.
"The department would like to thank Mr Mketeni for his excellent service and dedication to the conservation of our rich biological diversity," it said in a statement.
"We are looking forward to working with Mr Mketeni as he moves SANParks into the future.
"In the face of the ongoing challenges of rhino poaching, we have faith in Mr Mketeni's abilities to address the scourge head on."
The department said Mketeni had extensive experience in conservation management and was a conservation career professional.
He was the deputy director general responsible for biodiversity and conservation in the department for the last 10 years.
Mkenti welcomed the confidence placed on him by the SANParks board and the minister.
"I am committed to continuing with the good work and also to positioning the organisation as a lead agent in conservation nationally, regionally and globally," he said in a statement.
He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Management and has 25 years' experience in the field of Environmental Management and Biodiversity and Conservation.