Velaphi Abraham Sibiya (known as Abe) has been appointed by the board of South African National Parks (SANParks) as managing executive of the Kruger National Park (KNP).
Sibiya has been officially acting as the Managing Executive: KNP since December 2008. He holds a BSc degree from the University of Witwatersrand with Botany and Zoology as his major subjects, as well as a BSc (Hons) in Wildlife Management from the University of Pretoria. Sibiya has 25 years experience in the field of Conservation Management, with special emphasis on park development and management as well as ecotourism management.
Besides having been exposed to conservation management practices outside of the country, he also held a number of executive management positions in the Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Authorities over a period of 10 years.
Having grown up in the Lowveld area of Mpumalanga, Sibiya understands, and appreciates, the culture of the province and its peoples. He also loves the local landscape, its incredible flora and fauna, and the associated tourism products and what these mean, not for the province, but the whole nation.
SANParks chief executive, David Mabunda, said that KNP is the flagship of the South African National Parks and so it was important to appoint to its helm a person who would be able to understand and appreciate its complexities.
“We wish Mr Sibiya all the best in his new challenge as well as strength to steer this mighty ship well into the future. With the current economic climate, SANParks has never been in greater need of strong leadership to continue building its economic stability,” said Mabunda.