Annual Report: CapeNature records record tourism income, supporting 2038 new employment opportunities

23 Oct 2022 in Where We Govern

CapeNature netted more than R50.5 million in tourism income in the 2021/22 financial year, a record that surpassed pre-pandemic income performance. This was due to a robust recovery in visitor numbers to CapeNature parks and outstanding work from the entity in promoting eco-tourism in the province.

This was revealed during the tabling of CapeNature’s Annual Report for 2021/22.

The income gained from eco-tourism helps to fund the conservation of the natural beauty and biodiversity of our province. This is a priority for CapeNature, with the entity adding 33 352.47 hectares to their conservation estate, thereby ensuring that the natural heritage of the province is properly protected.

The income gained also funds employment opportunities. The entity generated 789 Extended Public Works Programme related employment opportunities last year, surpassing their target by 75%. In addition, 1 249 jobs were created through the procurement of services from 23 SMMEs, giving a boost to the economies of rural communities.

MPP Andricus van der Westhuizen said: “CapeNature is an example of what a successful provincial entity should look like. Their efforts to conserve our environment, while also making it available for the enjoyment of the public deserves to be lauded. By opening up our nature reserves to the public, CapeNature is contributing hugely to a general appreciation of our unique natural habitats and wildlife. The love of nature that is cultivated will assist the provincial government’s future conservation efforts, and further raise awareness of the importance of conservation.

There are, however, also threats to our biodiversity, with succulent poaching being a concern. CapeNature has been effective in ensuring consequences in this regard, with their actions resulting in 72 completed criminal investigations against poachers.

The DA in the Western Cape would like to encourage the public to visit our parks this summer, and see for themselves all the beauty contained in therein.”