SANParks has begun its three-year R370m upgrade and refurbishment programme in the Kruger National Park.

Funds for the infrastructure upgrade were obtained predominantly from an Infrastructure Development Programme and allocated to SANParks from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment.

“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,” says Managing Executive of KNP, Gareth Coleman.

“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.”

The projects prioritised for this year include rebuilding the Letaba Shop and Lower Sabie Petrol Station, which were destroyed by fire; reconstructing the Shingwedzi Main Building roof and viewing decks at Skukuza and Olifants Camp, which were damaged by termites; constructing a picnic spot, camping site and reception facility at the Shangoni Gate; upgrading entrance gates at Pafuri, Punda Maria, Orpen, Phabeni and Numbi; renovating more than 110 accommodation units across KNP; and upgrading Sweni Trails Camp.

Funds have also been allocated for the upgrading of some staff accommodation, the resurfacing of identified tar roads, and the re-gravelling of selected gravel roads.

Further projects will be launched in 2023, according to SANParks.

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