Three communities in Knysna – Dam se Bos, Hornlee and Qolweni – have received groceries for 100 recipients from South African National Parks.

“Although the need is great, we are encouraged to give the little we have to help sustain struggling families during COVID-19-related lock down,” said Acting GM of SANParks' Garden Route National Park, Andre Riley.

SANParks nationally secured R6 million (€300 000) from the United Nations Development Programme and SANParks Honorary Rangers. It was enough to purchase food, hygiene products, educational material and water tanks to benefit 7 500 families in and around national parks across South Africa.

The Knysna Municipality identified recipients of groceries from its system, developed as part of government's response to break threatening poverty trends during lockdown.

“I would like to thank the SANParks management team. SANParks has been an instrumental partner in more than 5 000 grocery parcels handed to Knysna communities by the Municipality during lockdown,” said Deputy Mayor of Knysna, Aubrey Tsengwa.

“This is a small contribution that will help a small group of families but we continue to raise more food for families,” said Park Manager, Megan Taplin. “Although 100 parcels were dropped off in Knysna on Monday, 60 more are expected to arrive later this week.”

Socio-economic Transformation Officer for the Wilderness section, Phumla Nyathikazi, said the effort to pool resources to avoid duplication of groceries was key. “Hence the partnership with NGOs with a focus on alleviating the burden of poverty to vulnerable communities.

“So in working with established organisations like Thembalobomi, FAMSA and Options, we are able to reach child-headed homes. We are encouraged by eyes lighting up as we deliver food to the most vulnerable.”