The seventh annual SANParks Kudu awards was testament to the dedication and commitment of conservationists at grassroots, corporate and in-house levels that stand South Africa proud, according to chief executive officer, Dr David Mabunda.
"What is of great importance is to notice that a number of the winners are not only from affluent projects with lots of cash injection but are grassroot interventions with very little or no resources."
The awards acknowledges those who have given financial and other resources to the cause of conservation, and made it possible for conservation agencies in general to operate in a conducive and enabling environment.
Dr Mabunda said being a finalist or a winner in a specific category definitely gives the entrants an enviable position amongst their peers… "and this assists in making the Kudu Awards one of the most prestigious and sort after conservation accolades in the country."
This year's winners are:
Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Group):
Business Partner of the Year:
Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation Award:
- (Individual)/Reporter: Dimpho Gopane of Motsweding FM (SABC)
Evironmental Media Contribution to Conservation Award:
- (TV Programme) Mike Vincent of 50/50
Community Contribution to Conservation:
- (Joint winners) Makuleke Community Property Association and the Mayibuye Ndlhovu Development Trust
Community contribution to conservation award - Honorary Ranger Region of the Year:
Community contribution to conservation - Project of the Year:
- Own the Night - anti rhino poaching
Environmental Education/Capacity Building (Individual):
- Nomonde Ntsundwana an educator from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Environmental Education/Capacity Building (Group):
- Piet N Aphane High School in Zebedial, Limpopo
A Lifetime Contribution Award was presented to Mayedwa Kilani who spent 49 years as a Mountain Zebra National Park employee before retiring in 2005. Internal staff members were also bestowed with "top achievers" awards, known as the Chief Executive Awards. This national award recognizes their dedication and selfless efforts towards achieving the goals of the organization from across 22 National Parks under SANParks management.