In recent developments, South African National Parks (SANParks) has revealed plans to support communities in areas neighbouring to national parks under SANParks’ management through a 1% community levy charged on bookings. The levy will commence from June 1, 2012.

The idea behind the community levy is to create education and health facilities, such as schools and clinics as well as assisting in introducing water and sanitation projects in nearby communities.

SANParks Senior General Manager: Corporate Social Investment, Elizabeth Mhlongo said that it was their view that communities adjacent to national parks should be given an opportunity to derive value through undertakings that take place within the protected areas. She also stated that “The objective of this levy is to respond to the diverse needs of communities as well as designing sustainable and strategic partnerships with various communities within and beyond national parks.”

“We are quite excited with this project and hope that our guests will be equally ecstatic to be a part of this venture that strives to have community changing implications,” Mhlongo stated.