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3 December 2012

Winners of the Kudu Awards announced

The winners of the SANParks Kudu Awards were announced on 30 November 2012, and the honours roll included a 7-year-old girl.

The greater kudu is the symbol of SANParks. The greater kudu is the symbol of SANParks.

The Kudu Awards is an important initiative that recognises external stakeholders for their contributions and internal stakeholders’ efforts in making South African National Parks the custodian of choice for the national parks system of South Africa. It also plays a significant role in the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage, thus protecting South Africa’s most valuable national assets. - Dr David Mabunda, CEO of SANParks.

The annual SANParks Kudu Awards, supported by First National Bank, have once again celebrated the contribution of groups and individuals to conservation. The recent awards ceremony took place at Gallagher Estates on 30 November 2012.

Afeefah Patel, a 7-year-old Johannesburg girl who wrote a letter of concern to President Zuma about rhino poaching, was awarded the Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Individual). Her letter gave impetus to a call for a campaign against poaching.

The Group award in this category was made to Gora Elephant Camp in the Addo Elephant National Park, while Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi were named recipients in the Profit Making Organisation section. The latter launched Unite Against Poaching, which secured more than R5-million in donations towards anti-poaching initiatives in the Kruger National Park.

Tiara Walters from Sunday Times was awarded the Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation (Best Jounalist). Sheree Bega from Saturday Star received a Merit Award in this category. The magazine Getaway won the Best Publication in this category.

In the category of Community Contribution to Conservation, John Nzira of the Ukuvuna Community Training Centre took the Individual award for his work in rural communities in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The Group award was awarded jointly to the Pretoria-based Mothong African Heritage and the Northern Cape Department of Basic Education. The Region award, a SANParks Honorary Rangers award, went to the Pretoria/Tshwane region. The Project of the Year award went to Nampak for its baboon-proof rubbish bins and management of waste in the Kruger National Park.

In the Environmental Education/Capacity Building category, the Individual winner was Vincent Gibbs-Halls from Eden District Municipality in the Western Cape for over 20 years of leadership in the broader conservation field. The Group winner was the Jewish National Fund, which contributed to programmes in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

The Lifetime Contribution Award was awarded posthumously to Dr U. de V. ‘Tol’ Pienaar,  former Chief Director of SANParks from 1987-1991.

The Shield Award was made to SANParks staff member Graeme Ellis for his bravery in saving the life of a colleague while endangering his own during a lion attack in Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park. 

Dr David Mabunda, CEO of SANParks said the awards are an important way of acknowledging the incredible work done in conservation in South Africa. 'The Kudu Awards is an important initiative that recognises external stakeholders for their contributions and internal stakeholders' efforts in making South African National Parks the custodian of choice for the national parks system of South Africa. It also plays a significant role in the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage, thus protecting South Africa's most valuable national assets,' he noted.