Honorary rangers (HRs) are often perceived as the 'rich guys who do things in the parks', and this perception needs to be changed with hard work and dedication from all HR's. This is one of the messages that came through very strongly at the meetings held in February by the South African Honorary Rangers corps at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
On February 15, 2008 the Honorary Rangers national executive committee (NEC) got together for the first meeting, while the chairpersons from the various regions met on Saturday February 16.
SANParks were represented by Kevin Moore, from the people and conservation division, who is a big supporter of the HR corps. Kevin will soon be heading the portfolio of public awareness and volunteers in SANParks, and is fully committed to helping HR's reach their objectives. Also present from SANParks was Johan Taljaard, the park manager, as well as Victor Mokoena, duty manager in the park.
'Another important issue was our balanced scorecard which is based on exactly the same principle as that of SANParks, with transformation being a key factor,' says Piet Andjelkovic, chairman of the Bushveld region. Honorary Rangers must be ambassadors for SANParks, and thanks to the never-ending efforts of people like Janssen Davies, NEC chairperson, the group is gaining more recognition from SANParks management.
'This message has to reach across to all Honorary Rangers and Junior Rangers. We have to carry the flag for SANParks, together with SANParks.' Chairpersons of regions as well as national projects gave feedback on things happening all over the country, and the balanced scorecard objectives were once again emphasised.
'We have to grow our numbers, both HR and Junior Rangers, we have to grow our previously disadvantaged numbers and our contribution to SANParks as well as our contribution to environmental education.' The NEC budget was presented by Andrč van der Merwe, vice chairman and treasurer of the NEC and accepted by the meeting. Grant Jamieson, the chairperson of Johannesburg reported on the progress of the upcoming Indaba at Berg en Dal restcamp in Kruger National Park.
A full programme is on offer, and members who have been snoozing with bookings will be losing out. The venue and organisation of high quality promises to make an unforgettable Indaba for 2008. Andrč Vosloo, NEC vice chairman and member from the Boland region gave his region's presentation on the 2009 Indaba, to be held in Kgalagadi.