9 December 2014
Seven new chalets have been built at the Agulhas National Park Rest Camp, which is at the southernmost point of the African continent.
The Agulhas National Park development is one component of a R2,4-billion investment made by government for the upgrading and development of tourism and conservation infrastructure in national parks, SANparks said in a statement on Monday.
The park now has 15 chalets, which bring the total number of beds available to 51. The chalets are available for guests to book.
The Agulhas National Park is located in a unique landscape of pristine coastline, coastal wetlands and the endangered lowland fynbos. The park spans four different components, totaling 21 000 hectares.
“This development, together with the construction of a new entrance gate as well as two staff houses to support the camp, amounted to R10-million,” said Antionet van Wyk, SANParks General Manager: Infrastructure & Special Projects.
“The project has yielded 10 386 job days during the construction phase, of which 80% were sourced from local labour including sub trades such as electricians and plumbers.”
The Agulhas National Park plays a major role in the economy of the area.
Van Wyk said around 448 people and 38 small- and medium- enterprises were employed by a number of projects under the Expanded Public Works Programme, the government’s job creation programme.
The projects are largely related to the conservation of biodiversity.
Agulhas National Park was proclaimed in 1999 to help conserve the fynbos biome, and is one of the seven new national parks created since 1994. The new chalets are part of the government’s national park expansion programme, Van Wyk said.
SANParks has expanded the land under protection in the national park system by over 700 000 hectares in the past 20 years, with much of this being in the under conserved areas such as the Succulent Karoo and Fynbos biomes.