South African National Parks has appointed a second female park manager to take charge of one of the organisation's 20 national parks. Ms Nicolette Raats commenced her duties as park manager for the picturesque Namaqua National Park on January 10.
In November 2001, Ms Phumla Mzazi, the current park manager at Mountain Zebra National Park in the Eastern Cape became the first female park manager within the organisation. Ms Raats holds a B. Commerce degree from Potchefstroom University, together with a nature conservation diploma from Port Elizabeth Technikon.
She was Regional People and Conservation Coordinator for the Arid Cluster of parks, which comprises Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Augrabies National Park, Namaqua National Park and Ais/Ais Richtersveld National Park and was stationed in Kgalagadi for four years.
"It is a privilege and an honour to be part of the SANParks team at this level. I look forward to the opportunity to manage an area of such high conservation status – (the succulent Karoo). Namaqua National Park has a tremendous future role to play in South African National Parks," said Raats of her appointment:
"My wish would be that this appointment would be an encouragement to others to live their purpose and dreams." SANParks Executive Director of Parks Paul Daphne wished Raats well in her new challenges, and expressed the organisation's confidence that she will take the park to new heights during her tenure there.