The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW)and members has demanded the intervention of government to rescue the mess practiced at the SANParks. Currently SANParks is a boiling pot for workers, as the working class are under the oppressive conditions which are worse than those during the apartheid regime.
The park has come to a point where it is only benefiting certain individuals instead of being a conservation area to benefit the broader society with emphasis on local or surrounding communities living in poverty. The rhino poaching has escalated as there are private operators which are operating in the wilderness areas of the park without anyone noticing whether the rhinos are safe from such strangers and recently there has been killing of rangers at the Parks by the poachers which are based at Crocodile Bridge Ranger Section.
The government has sent out the SANDF to assist with tightening of security at borders, but the team has been placed at Sand River base, whereby during the week the group has been constantly seen playing soccer and drinking alcohol. What bothers the workers, especially black workers in SANParks is the issue of them being harassed, investigated or ultimately dismissed or removed from their positions. A Sergeant based at the Pretoriuskop section was suspected and severally tortured for being a rhino poacher until he had to take the blame due to the
harassment. Workers are undergoing humiliation at SANParks.
With regards to corruption and maladministration, the workers have raised the issue of nepotism with regards to appointments of relatives to the SANParks, former CEO, (Glenn Phillips) who ran away by resigning following the investigations of corruption, maladministration and nepotism. In regard to recruitment no proper processes were followed in terms of their appointments. For instance, Glenn Phillips was hosting presentation whereby he woud sell tickets and keep the money for himself and his cabal. To illustrate more management did not follow Disciplinary code when addressing the chief pilot (Grant Knights) who was charged with fraud but rather, Knight was given an ultimatum of either to resign or be demoted, but we had fellow workers such as Sarah Modalala, Ubet Chabane and Thandazile Shirindzi, who were never given an opportunity to make an option but just dismissed because they are black.
Comrade Raymond Khoza dispatched an email on 05 February 2019 to the, then CEO Glenn Phillips raising the concern of outsourcing of Metsi Metsi Site Area, and on the same day around 08H34, Glenn Phillips dispatched an email to Lucy Nhlapo giving her instructions to constitute proper disciplinary action against Khoza. To show that SANParks is serious about the unbundling of the park, we recently received an invitation on the 27 September 2019 to outsource Skukuza Golf Club function.
The parks are supposed to the be the historical product of SANParks and therefore cannot be or should not be outsourced to private companies. This inextricably intertwined with the core-business of the park’s conservation and picnic spots hence they were never part of the commercialization of non-core functions. Currently there has been an approval to erect one of the wilderness trails camps so that it can be operated by a private company to create competition with the existing Kruger park trails.
NUPSAW has requested urgent intervention from the office of the Presidency to root out the corruption, maladministration and the poaching of rhinos and elephants at the Park because the Parks has now been turned into a self-enrichment scheme and there has never been a response.
NUPSAW as a union that stands for the workers right, demands SANParks to hands-off on Raymond Khosa who has been the whistleblower for incidents taking place at the SANPark and to stop the outsourcing of services within the Park to benefit their personal pockets. And furthermore, we demand SANParks to release its investigation report, stop outsourcing of services and restore terms and condition of employment relating to Sunday, Overtime and public Holidays.