Hard work, going the extra mile and excellent performance were recognised at the Kruger National Park's glittering 10th achievement awards in Skukuza on Friday April 17, 2009.
Satara rest camp squeezed ahead of its rivals for the award "Camp of the Year", Talamati bush camp received the award "Bush Camp of the Year" and the "Entrance Gate of the Year" award went to the recently upgraded Orpen entrance gate. Olifants section ranger Evans Mkhansi accepted the award for "Ranger Post of the Year" and Sweni trails camp received the award for the "Wilderness Trails Camp of the Year". This is the first year that this award has been presented.
Another new award, the award for a "Special Team Effort" went to Karen van Rooyen and her team from the Wildlife Products Processing Plant for their efforts in arranging the successful ivory auction last year. The "Concession of the Year" award went to Lukimbi Concession, which is situated in the South of the KNP near Malelane Entrance Gate.
Acting KNP managing executive Abe Sibiya congratulated those who achieved awards in his welcoming speech and urged them to think "out of the box". "I also thank you for your hard work and efforts over the past year, it must be remembered that this hard work you do helps build the good name the Kruger National Park has in both the conservation and tourism industry," commented Sibiya.
Individual awards were given to the following people in the category of "Outstanding Service in the Workplace": Johan Enslin, Isaac Khosa, Piet van Wyk, Alfred Ngwenya, William Masindi, Hitlers Mathebula, Jacob Mlangeni, Lindiwe Mbowane, Sherlock Shabangu, Simon Marutha, Mirriam Robson, Deborah Mazibane, France Nhlongo, Neels van Wyk, Elvis Maluleke, Tebalelo Soke, Freddy Maluleke, Patrick Chauke, Solomon Hlungwani, Januario Valoi and Lolly Nyundu.
Awards for "Outstanding Service to Tourists/Clients/Customers were given to the following individuals: Jobe Shabangu, Christopher Muthathi, Kally Ubisi, Laura Mkwevho, Flora Mailula, Sarah Sambo, Obakeng Koma, Pilato Malapane, Christa von Elling and Rodgers Hobyane.
In his speech, South African National Parks (SANParks) chief executive Dr David Mabunda, congratulated recipients of the awards, but also urged all staff to increase their cost saving efforts as the global economic downturn is also impacting on SANParks.
Guest speaker, Mpumalanga premier Thabang Makwetla, commented on the need to raise national service standards in the tourism industry and could not resist urging guests to vote in the national elections which took place the week after. Limpopo MEC for economic development and tourism Collins Chabane also attended the event.
The KNP Achievement Awards are held annually to recognise excellent performance by KNP staff members. Those who receive KNP Achievement Awards are considered eligible for the prestigious SANParks Kudu Awards which will be held later this year.