South African National Parks (SANParks) recently announced the start of a huge infrastructure upgrade for the popular Kruger National Park.
R370 million will be allocated
The new upgrade and refurbishment programme will reportedly total around R370 million and last three years. The upgrade will be funded by an Infrastructure Development Programme, which is allocated to SANParks from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment.
Gareth Coleman, Managing Executive of Kruger National Park, says that the project is set to begin soon, as contractors are finalised,
“We are currently finalising contracts and works packages with successful contractors for civil and building works and this should be completed by the end of May. Contractors will move onsite during May and June and we will start seeing the results of these investments in the second half of 2022.” he said.
According to Coleman, the project will also bring a little joy for the unemployed in the area.
“The decline in tourist revenues under COVID-19 has impacted our revenue but the need to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure is ever-present. The infrastructure programme will also help provide much-needed employment in the area,” he added.
What’s to be upgraded at Kruger National Park?
Some of the facilities to be tackled in the upgrade this year include:
- The rebuilding of the Letaba Shop and Lower Sabie Petrol Station, which were destroyed by fire,
- Reconstruction of the termite-damaged Shingwedzi Main Building roof and viewing decks at Skukuza and Olifants Camp,
- Construction of a reception facility, picnic spot and camping site at the Shangoni Gate,
- Upgrades to several entrance gates, including Pafuri, Punda Maria, Orpen, Phabeni and Numbi,
- Upgrades to the Sweni Trails Camp,
- And, renovations to around 110 accommodation units across Kruger National Park.
Some of the funds have also been set aside to upgrade certain staff accommodation, resurfacing of identified tar roads as well as the re-gravelling of some gravel roads. More projects will be launched in 2023.
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