PILANESBERG NATIONAL PARK

Management Master Plan

Contents
  Preface
  Introduction
  Primary objectives
  Natural resources
  Ecological management
  Zonation
  Private sector
  Marketing
  Infrastructure
  Community aspects
  Land
  About the Authors


Back to top
Acknowledgements

This document is the result of the combined efforts of management, concessionaires, neighbouring communities and other key stakeholders that are involved with or affected by Pilanesberg National Park (PNP). The process was facilitated by Willie Boonzaaier of CONTOUR Project Managers CC, ably assisted by Roger Collinson of Collinson Consulting.

Special mention needs to be made of the dedicated PNP Management Team, under the competent leadership of Matsima Magakgala, General Manager: Protected Areas Management, with whose assistance this Second Edition of the PNP Management Plan was developed:

Norman Mathebula
Pieter Nel
Johnson Maoka
Mike Crowther
Bruce Brockett
Gus Van Dyk
Mandy Momberg

Back to top
1 PREFACE

Pilanesberg National Park (PNP) is located in the North West Province of South Africa. Prior to its establishment in 1979, most of the land was used for farming. Since 1979, PNP has undergone major reclamation and development and has now matured to a fully stocked, well managed and world renowned National Park, which is not only hosting the "Big Five", but has also become home and breeding ground to an impressive list of rare and endangered species.

PNP has become a significant anchor project in the region and is managed by the North West Parks and Tourism Board (formerly Bop Parks), a conservation organisation that is world-renowned for its pioneering approach to people-based wildlife conservation which it has practised since 1979.

The Board believes that if conservation is to succeed in developing countries such as South Africa, then local communities and individuals must benefit significantly from wildlife conservation and related activities. If local communities and the region as a whole can benefit through jobs and business opportunities that are created or generated, the firm support for protected areas will be obtained and important conservation objectives will be met almost as a secondary or spin-off benefit.

PNP is run as a three-way partnership between the State (represented by the North West Parks and Tourism Board), local communities and the private sector. Without doubt, it is the private sector on which the entire project ultimately depends. The private sector develops and manages a variety of tourism developments and activities in PNP. The revenue generated from concession holders and entrance fees is used partly to maintain the tourism bulk infrastructure and conservation infrastructure and game stocks in the reserve on which the private sector has based its own investment and operations. If surpluses do occur, a portion of these revenues may be used to finance community-based development projects. In addition to community projects, communities also benefit from jobs and business opportunities that are created both within and outside PNP. This in turn further stimulates the local and regional economy.

This partnership, therefore, is of benefit to all parties involved - conservation objectives are met, the private sector generates profits, jobs and businesses are created, communities are developed and valuable foreign exchange is brought into the country. PNP is a model for other Protected Areas. It aims to balance its primary objective of conserving biodiversity and its unique geological and natural landscape assets with its secondary objective of optimally utilising its commercial, educational and recreational potentials; as an alternative and viable land-use option; to the benefit of an entire region.

PNP therefore should not be looked at as solely a protected area or tourism destination - in truth, PNP is a mature tourism anchor project that acts as a major social and economic core and engine around which the development of the entire region is based. It is strongly believed that the approach being practised in PNP will have significant beneficial impacts on local and regional economies, as well as greatly contribute towards the overall improvement in the quality of life of largely disadvantaged rural communities and individuals. People-based wildlife conservation, therefore, should be considered as a viable development option elsewhere in South Africa and in developing countries in general, especially in rural areas where development options are very limited. In this respect, it is believed that people based conservation offers the only long-term successful approach to wildlife conservation in South and southern Africa and the continent of Africa as a whole.

PNP will be the most heavily used and developed big-game Park in Africa. It will have the most developed surroundings; a 550km2 island of natural landscape in a sea of urban and industrial development. Outdoor recreation facilities including "satellite Parks" will also be developed in the near proximity, as high-density outdoor recreation alternatives to PNP.

Back to top
2. INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO PNP

Pilanesberg National Park (PNP) is 50 000 hectares in size and is located in the North West Province of South Africa, 150 kilometre north west of the Gauteng metropolis and 60 kilometre north of Rustenburg.

1.1.1 Geology

Geologically, the area is world famous. Its structure, termed the "PNP Alkaline Ring Complex" was formed by volcanic eruptions some 1 200 million years ago. Ancient, even by geological time scales this extinct volcano is the most perfect example of an alkaline ring complex. There are only two other alkaline volcanoes in the world, in Russia and in Greenland. Neither are as clearly defined as PNP. A number of rare (but not necessarily economically important) minerals occur in PNP. PNP clearly rates high amongst the world's outstanding geological phenomena.

1.1.2 Diversity

Apart from its unique size, shape and rock types, the volcanic origin and resultant weathering of the extinct crater has resulted in a wide variety of landscapes and associated vegetation communities. This provides some of the most spectacular scenery in Southern Africa. It also provides a wide range of habitats for game animals. Because of this, PNP has the potential to carry a wider variety of game species than any other similar sized game reserve in Southern Africa. Its potential for supporting rare and endangered species such as black rhino, roan, sable, tsessebe, foot-and-mouth free buffalo and wild dogs is particularly high. Thus apart from its conservation value, the area has very high game viewing and resource products potential.

1.1.3 History

The history of PNP is also unique amongst national parks in Africa. PNP's special features of rugged landscape, well-watered valleys and attractive dwelling sites have made it a preferred site for human settlement for thousands of years. Prior to its proclamation as a reserve in 1979, the PNP Complex was degraded and depleted of indigenous game populations due to fairly intense settlement by commercial farmers. At considerable expense, the land has been restocked with game, the scars of human settlement were removed and tourism infrastructure was developed during the first 15 years (1979 and 1993). This constituted the largest and most expensive game stocking and land rehabilitation project ever undertaken in any African game reserve at the time. A 110 kilometre peripheral Big Game fence was erected over some very rugged terrain, 188 kilometre of visitor roads have been developed and more than 6000 head of game were introduced during the Operation Genesis game translocation programme. Thus, while wildlife resources are rapidly declining in most developing countries in Africa, PNP is one of the few areas where this trend has been dramatically reversed. For this far-sighted action the North West Province (Previously Bop Parks) and its people have received worldwide acclaim and recognition. The challenge that lies ahead is to further develop and manage PNP in such a way that the conservation, cultural, recreational and economic benefits of this far-sighted action can be optimally utilised to the benefit of current and future generations.

1.1.4 The Challenge

PNP's present situation is also unique. Only Nairobi National Park in Kenya shares its close proximity to large urban complexes. In Africa, no other game reserves of comparable size are within such easy reach of a major tourism market and international gateway. Furthermore, being situated immediately adjacent to the Sun City / Lost City Complex, PNP's potential for attracting visitors must be unequalled in Africa. The main challenge is to optimally utilise this vast tourist potential, whilst still protecting the heritage values of PNP. In Africa, PNP must have unequalled potential as an ecotourism destination. It therefore also has a responsibility to the wildlife industry in Africa, to be developed and managed as a model, proving its ability to achieve self-sustainability and contributing to the regional economy.

1.1.5 Previous Studies

The most important studies that have shaped the development of PNP are;
· the ecological report by Willem Van Riet and Ken Tinley [PNP - Planning and Management Proposals, August 1978];
· the internal ecological publication on range conditions and large herbivore carrying capacities by Roger Collinson and Pete Goodman [Inkwe No 1., Environmental Research in Bophutatswana, March 1982];
· the development plan by Willie Boonzaaier, Roger Collinson and Willem Van Riet in 1983 [A Five Year Development Plan for PNP, September 1983]; and
· the study on introduction of lion by Deborah and Frank Vorhies [Introducing Lion into PNP: an Economic Assessment, 1993].

1.2 MANAGEMENT PLAN

1.2.1 Other Management Documents

This document is one in a series of management documents that jointly aim to provide historical and archive material, sketch the current situation, provide policy and strategic direction and give guidelines for the day-to-day management of PNP, as demanded by Section 30 of Act No. 3 of 1997: the North West Parks and Tourism Act.

Management maintains the following reports as important management tools:

· "Volume I: A Description and History of PNP" which should be updated monthly as a permanent archive of technical information on PNP.
· "Volume II: The PNP Situation Analysis Report" which is a situational review by management, every two to five years, depending on prevailing circumstances and the speed of change.
· "Volume III: The PNP Management Plan" (this document) which is updated as a strategic overview by the Board, every two to five years, following the aforementioned review.
· "Volume IV: The PNP Management Manual" which is updated annually, as a guideline for all managers, clearly specifying the various management functions, objectives and standards.
· "Volume V: The PNP Operations Manual" which is updated monthly by the technical and operations staff, as an operational guideline and training tool.

1.2.2 Purpose

The aim of this document (the third in the series) is to provide a broad policy framework for the PNP. The Plan sets out the key objective of PNP, defines the responsibilities and modus operandi of the role players, gives a brief description of the natural resources occurring in PNP and the stocking plan that has been adopted by Park Management.

1.2.3 Structure

The Plan also defines the visions, policies and operational guidelines that govern PNPs ecological management, the zoning of uses, the involvement of the private sector, marketing, infrastructure, community development and land issues.

This document therefore summarises the policy framework and strategic thinking for medium- to long-term development and management of PNP.

1.2.4 Process

This Management Plan was developed in full consultation with all stakeholders, including management, concessionaires and communities, and after full review of the current internal and external environmental factors that affect PNP and its future. A situation analysis report was drafted that summarises the results of this consultation process and forms the basis upon which this Management Plan was developed [CONTOUR, PNP Management Series - Volume II, Situation Analysis Report, June 1999]. Any changes to the broad policies statements of this Management Plan need to be authorised by the Board before such new policies can be adopted and the Plan amended. The policies set out in the Management Plan are translated into operational procedures, which may be changed by Park Management provided they do not deviate from the overall policy guidelines.

1.3 PNP PARK MANAGEMENT TASK TEAM

The structuring of functions within PNP follows the recommendations of the North West Tourism Master Plan [DBSA, CONTOUR, Carruthers VC, A Tourism Master Plan for the North West Province of South Africa, October 1998].

The PNP Park Management Task Team is a sub-committee responsible for all development and management aspects of PNP and their impacts on the surrounding region.

These include;
· formulating development and management budgets;
· inviting and initially regulating private sector involvement in PNP, through The Board's commercial arm;
· helping set up necessary community institutions, including the PNP Tourism and Conservation Forum; and
· establishing relations and strengthening ties with outside communities, through the PNP Tourism and Conservation Forum.

In addition, the PNP Management Team is responsible for formulating and, where necessary, seeking approval for all plans, budgets, policies and procedures relating to PNP. This Management Plan, for instance, was drafted under the guidance of the members of the PNP Management Team.

1.4 DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of the Management Plan, the following definitions apply:-

· The Board refers to the members of the North West Parks and Tourism Board as nominated on compliance with the "North West Parks and Tourism Board Act, Act no. 3 of 1997" and any amendments thereto;
· The Chief Executive Officer refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the North West Parks and Tourism Board;
· Park Management refers to North West Parks Board and Tourism Board staff appointed by The Chief Executive Officer to manage the PNP;
· Development Task Team refers to a sub-committee, which is called the PNP Development Task Team, that was appointed by The Board at a meeting held on 25 June 1999; and
· Parks Board refers to the organisation and/or relevant people appointed to carry out specific tasks as the case may be.

Back to top
3. MISSION, OVERALL VISION AND OBJECTIVES FOR THE PARK

1.7 PNP's VALUES AND OBLIGATIONS

PNP is recognised as the protected area within the North West Province with the highest economic potential and the second highest environmental value [Davies R, et al, A Review of the Protected Areas under the control of the North West Parks and Tourism Board, June 1998]. When developing and managing PNP, all the Board's policies, plans and actions must;

· be in the context of the Board's generic mission as outlined above;
· attempt to fully capitalise on its high economic and environmental values referred to above; and in addition
· strictly comply with a number of important specific values & obligations ensuing from:
- The National Park status conferred on the area by the IUCN
- The global uniqueness of the area's geomorphic origin and consequent landscape and rock types
- The high potential PNP has for making an important contribution to national and international biodiversity conservation and species survival programs, especially with regards to black and white rhino conservation and large predator reintroduction programs
- Promises and commitments made to the communities that vacated PNP and/or gave up resource use rights within PNP
- The private sector and community based tourism and allied industries that have "mushroomed" in and around PNP on the basis of previously implied or documented rights, agreements, contracts and/or expectations
- The prestigious national and international reputation PNP has earned over the years for its pioneering policies and dynamic approach to park management
- The example PNP has set in developing strong conservation values and park management competencies amongst previously disadvantaged employees and neighbouring communities.


1.8 PNP's CHALLENGE

The challenge ahead in the development and management of PNP is to fulfil the Board's mission without compromising or neglecting the above values and obligations.

Essentially the challenge is to achieve an even balance between strong conservation values and obligations on the one hand and strong socio-economic values and obligations on the other.

As such, the challenge for PNP is different from a protected area such as Madikwe Game Reserve where the balance is tilted in favour of socio-economic values and obligations. Alternatively PNP is different from a strict nature reserve such as Rustenburg Nature Reserve where the balance should be tilted in favour of strong conservation values and obligations.

1.9 PNP'S KEY OBJECTIVES

In accordance with the above, the key objective or purpose of PNP is to contribute towards and support the Board's mission by;

· conserving the system's biodiversity, abiotic resources [soil, water and rock] biophysical processes, unique landscape and historical / archaeological sites;
· while at the same time utilising the system's renewable natural resources for the enduring socio-economic benefit of the neighbouring communities primarily, and international, national and provincial stakeholders secondarily.

1.10 PNP'S VISION

The medium term vision for PNP is that it achieves its key objective to the extent that within the next ten years it becomes indisputably recognised internationally as one of the world's leading parks and the flag ship of the N/W Province. This international and national recognition is attained through a combination of the following factors:

· PNP and the quality of its conservation management, consistently provides a Big Five game viewing experience that competes favourably with Kruger National Park and the other well known game reserves of Africa.
· For the more discerning "ecotourist" who has progressed beyond the Big Five experience, PNP is renowned for the enriching and informative nature experiences it offers through innovative world class interpretation programmes.
· Although the recreational, educational and spiritual opportunities are maximised to the extent that PNP supports a higher density of visitors than any other "Big Five" game reserves, the quality of the visitor's wild African experience is not unduly impaired and conservation values and obligations are no unduly compromised.
· The visitor facilities and services in and around PNP consistently meet the global standards demanded by international, national and local visitors.
· All tourism development and management is undertaken by the private sector in accordance with mutually beneficial and synergistic relationships with Park management and neighbouring communities.
· PNP enjoys the understanding, appreciation and committed support of the neighbouring communities through a process of shared benefits, environmental education and participation in park planning and policy formulation.
· The biodiversity, biophysical processes, non renewable resources and landscape of PNP is well conserved through a consistently applied adaptive management process founded on up to date scientific knowledge, state of the art technology, and state of the art process modelling, efficient and repeatable monitoring systems and regular evaluation and review by experienced ecologists.
· PNP becomes an internationally renowned centre for park management and conservation research especially in the fields of rhino conservation, large predator management, experimental conservation and tourism models, adaptive management and the socio-economic aspects of park management.
· PNP is fully recognised as an integral and important component of the local and regional economy with its contribution regularly monitored and objectively quantified.
· PNP achieves financial sustainability through a combination of maximising income from sources such as entrance fees, concession fees and consumptive utilisation, cost effective management including zero based budgets and guaranteed funding support from Government on the basis of the meaningful and verifiable estimates of PNP's contribution to the regional economy.
· PNP is competently managed by a well trained team that is truly representative of South African society especially with regards to race and gender.
· All of the above is achieved by successfully applying state of the art "home grown" models that are developed and refined through a dynamic process of adaptive strategic management supported by a pioneering and innovative culture.
· The end result is a Park that is revered by the national and international conservation fraternity as an icon of protected area management on the continent.

1.11 ROLE PLAYERS

To achieve the Key Objective and Vision, the responsibilities of the three partners in the development, management and operation of PNP are as follows:

1.11.1 Parks Board

As a general principle, the Board is responsible for providing and ensuring that all conservation infrastructure is managed according to the plans, objectives and policies as set out in this document. The Board will further encourage, facilitate and co-ordinate the involvement of the private sector and local communities through agreements where necessary.

1.11.2 Private Sector

The private sector is invited to participate in developing and operating any commercial wildlife / tourism related ventures in and around the reserve in a socially and environmentally responsible manner through agreements with the Board.

1.11.3 Local Community

The local community is responsible for developing democratic, transparent and legally-bound institutions that can manage the economic benefits that may arise from the operation of PNP to the benefit of all their members.

1.12 IMPLEMENTATION POLICY

Development projects in PNP will be implemented in such a way as to maximise socio-economic benefits to all role players. Specifically, the Board will only involve itself with implementation and management of projects when there is evidence of market failure and the private sector and / or the community cannot or will not manage a project. The Board, however, maintains overall control of these projects.

1.13 FUNDING

The funding for Park developments will be sourced in accordance with the needs of the respective role players. The Board merely acts as a catalyst to stimulate tourism developments and community projects by providing development and operational funding for bulk infrastructure and conservation of PNP. These funds will be sourced through government grants and from loans generated according to the feasibility of each project.

In recognition of its status as one of the prime ecotourism destinations in Africa, combined with the fact that the support infrastructure in PNP has now properly matured, the Board has as an immediate minimum requirement, the total financial self-sufficiency of tourism operations within PNP. In the medium term, it is also expected that conservation and community programmes of the Board will be subsidised by tourism operations within PNP.

The private sector is responsible for its own funding requirements.

Back to top
4. NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

1.14 VISION

The biodiversity, biophysical processes, non-renewable resources and landscape of PNP is well conserved through a consistently applied adaptive management process.

The ecological management of PNP is recognised nationally and internationally as a successful model of efficient and cost effective use of human and financial resources for the achievement of natural resource conservation objectives.

PNP becomes an internationally renowned centre for park management and conservation research especially in the fields of rhino conservation , large predator management, adaptive management and the socio - economic aspects of park management.

1.15 OBJECTIVES

1.15.1 Primary Objective

The primary objective is to maintain the systems present biodiversity in all its forms and to minimise any visual impairment of the "natural" land scape. [Realistically this objective can only be achieved by defining the limits of change that are acceptable in terms of climatic cycle fluctuations and the satisfaction of the secondary and tertiary objectives given below. Limits of acceptable change should be approved and reviewed periodically by the Board on the basis of expert advice, but in the full knowledge that setting such limits involves a great degree of value judgement].

In attempting to achieve this objective, special consideration should be given to genotypes, gene frequencies, species, sub species, communities and habitats that are threatened or endangered outside PNP. This special consideration should be applied in the following descending order of priority; internationally, nationally, provincially and locally.


Because many of the "natural" bio physical processes of the system have been disrupted by historical human interventions and the present interventions such as fencing, barriers to natural fires etc., the maintenance or rehabilitation of "natural" bio physical processes cannot be adopted as a realistic primary objective. Nevertheless, contemporary ethics and laws pertaining to soil and water conservation and state of the art scientific knowledge pertaining to resilience and equilibrium / stability concepts should be adhered to as an ancillary objective.

1.15.2 Secondary Objective

The secondary objective is to provide visitors to PNP with a highly marketable game viewing and other nature based activities and experiences provided that this does not compromise the primary objective.

1.15.3 Tertiary Objective

The tertiary objective is to maximise income and other benefits from the consumptive utilisation of PNP's natural resources provided that this does not compromise the primary and secondary objectives.

1.16 POLICY

As it is unrealistic to assume that the system's biotic and abiotic components can be conserved through "natural" ecological processes the policy is to apply management interventions for the achievement of ecological management objectives. This Policy does not necessarily imply a policy of simulating and or rehabilitating "natural" processes as in many cases this may not be feasible in terms of current knowledge, current technology, time and financial resources. Nevertheless, to encourage systems reliance through original ecological processes, especially natural selecting, and to keep management costs to a minimum, management interventions should also be applied in situations where primary, secondary and/or tertiary objectives are clearly being met in the absence of management interventions.

It shall be policy to restrict plant and animal species introductions to those that were historically indigenous to the Pilanesberg and the surrounding plains.

1.17 STRATEGY


In the light of imperfect knowledge and technology, and a stated policy of management intervention, the overriding strategy is to consistently apply an adaptive management process founded on;

· a comprehensive natural resource data base;
· unambiguous and measurable objectives and goals;
· continuously updated scientific knowledge and state of the art technology;
· state of the art systems modelling of ecological processes;
· efficient, effective and repeatable monitoring systems; and
· regular evaluation and review by experienced ecologists and systems modellers.

The secondary strategy is to develop a motivated team of staff with the commitment, skills and competency to achieve the primary objective, while providing them with the necessary equipment, tools, training and funding

1.18 OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

1.18.1 Alien Plant Control

It is policy to forbid the introduction of alien plants to PNP including gardens of staff housing and tourist facilities and lodges. The objective is to remove all existing alien plants in PNP including staff housing, gardens, tourist facilities and lodges. Plans for eradicating alien plants must include a five year follow up control procedure and be based on the latest alien plant control technology and knowledge. Cost effective must be important criteria when selecting control methods. Plans that do not have a five-year follow up procedure and guaranteed budget for actioning the procedure must be rejected outright.

1.18.2 Veld Burning Programmes

It is policy to regard veld burning as an important intervention for achieving primary and secondary and tertiary ecological management objectives. The strategy is to apply a patch mosaic burning programme being randomly implemented annually in terms of time and space. However, the desired random strategy must be compromised to some extent for the achievement of the secondary and tertiary ecological management objectives. The application of the random mosaic burning programme is the responsibility of PNP manager with advice provided by ecological services.

1.18.3 Bush Encroachment Control

At this stage the assumption is that the patch mosaic burning programme will control the eruption of woody plants to the extent that alpha, beta and gamma diversity objectives are achieved. Consequently it is policy to only initiate large-scale bush control programmes if monitoring results indicate that fire is not suppressing the encroachment of woody plants effectively. Nevertheless, it will be policy to undertake some bush clearing for the enhancement of game viewing for visitors eg - along roads, around water points, view points etc. As with alien plants, bush encroachment plans, must be cost effective and have a five-year follow up procedure with guaranteed funding.

1.18.4 Water Point Provision

As the historical processes of game movement in relation to water availability have been disrupted considerably by the closed nature of the PNP system and the drying up of springs due to erosion it is impracticable to try and simulate and or rehabilitate these processes. A policy of providing artificial water points for game is acceptable in the PNP situation. The number and distribution of water points must be designed to achieve the secondary and tertiary ecological management objectives without compromising the primary ecological objective.

1.18.5 Soil Erosion Reclamation

While soil erosion is a "natural" geomorphic process, the acceleration of soil loss due to unsustainable land use practices and developments must be minimised in the PNP system. Logistically, this is best achieved by preventing excessive overgrazing by wild herbivores and the wise use of fire. The existing sheet and gully erosion should be left to rehabilitate without management interventions as it is firstly extremely difficult to distinguish between what erosion is merely the result of a natural geomorphic process and what is the result of unsustainable land use processes. Further more, it is extremely costly to rehabilitate sheet and gully erosion by means of management interventions.

1.18.6 Large Herbivore Stocking Rates

In the absence of any data to the contrary it is assumed at this stage that the primary, secondary and tertiary ecological objectives are best attained by stocking the large wild herbivore populations at a level that lies somewhere between the ecological and economic carrying capacity of the system. Furthermore, it is assumed that these objectives will be attained by adhering to the principle that bulk grazers should be stocked at a high proportion of the total stocking rate, concentrate grazers and mixed feeders at intermediate proportions and browsers at a low proportion of the total stocking rate. It is also important to maintain species that prefer sour grasslands and or steep slopes at higher proportions of the total stocking rate than species that prefer "sweetveld" and or flat terrain. The operational manual provides more detailed guidelines on the stocking rates for individual species and feeding classes.

1.18.7 Predator Management

Predator Management must be based on the latest research and experience relating to predator/prey relationships, social behaviour, population dynamics and reproductive biology of the various predator species concerned. While the simulation of the predator/prey dynamics of an open system, is a noble ideal, it is most unlikely that this can be successfully attained in a closed system the size of PNP. Adaptive management is therefore the best approach to follow at PNP which will probably necessitate management interventions from time to time to control predator numbers and sex and age structures. Such interventions may include culling, live sales and birth control methods. The introduction of animals from time to time to ensure the maintenance of genetic diversity may also be undertaken.

1.18.8 Problem Animal Control

Animals that become a danger or excessive nuisance to persons and property due to either habituation or aberrant behaviour may be destroyed humanely or captured and removed from PNP. This applies also to animals that escape from PNP or leave and return to PNP from time to time. To minimise the need to control problem animals, efforts must be made to take preventative measures such as educating the public and alerting them to various latent dangers. In cases where the solution to he problem lies in destroying or capturing animals the measures in procedures followed must be robust to the ever present threat of criticism from animals rights and other "green" movements.

1.18.9 Consumptive Use of Natural Resources

It is policy to permit the consumptive use of natural resources in PNP, provided that:

· it is necessary for achieving the primary ecological objective; and / or
· it is sustainable and provides meaningful revenue to PNP and/or benefits to the neighbouring communities; and
· it does not compromise the primary and secondary ecological management objectives; and
· it does not compromise the values and obligations outlined in Section 3.2 above.

1.18.10 Control over Illegal Use of Natural Resources

Illegal utilisation of PNP's natural resources has always been low, but still remains a latent threat. Because of the conservation and economic value of particularly its game populations and the growing threat of poaching within the greater southern African region, it is policy to retain an ongoing vigilance through the maintenance of cost-effective surveillance and monitoring programmes and reaction capacities. Due to the law of diminishing returns, these programmes and capacities will be primarily focussed on rare- and endangered as well as economically valuable game species.

Considering the historical access to PNP by previously disadvantaged communities, the main effort towards resolving illegal utilisation of natural resources for purposes of subsistence, will be to create understanding and awareness through a pro-active education campaign amongst these communities. Management will however be ruthless with those that illegally harvest natural resources for commercial purposes.

1.18.11 Waste Disposal

Park Management and private operators and developers must adopt a responsible and environmentally friendly waste management plan. Specifically, liquid waste should be handled on-site according to a formal development plan. Solid waste should be separated and sorted on-site and recycled where possible, or disposed of in consultation with Park Management.

1.19 MONITORING

Monitoring must be regarded as the most important step in an adaptive management process. The responsibility for monitoring lies with PNP Manager and he must regard this as one of the most important tasks of his team. The Ecological Services division must develop the monitoring techniques and procedures, train PNP management staff to apply these, and interpret the data. Ecological Services should also revue the suitability and effectiveness of these techniques from time to time. The monitoring techniques and procedures applied must be based on the following:
· Related to adaptive management assumptions.
· Based on the latest ecological monitoring theory.
· Cost effective and appropriate for application by Park management staff.

The techniques and chosen for application must be consistently used over an extended period, including climatic cycle fluctuations, and only amended or disbanded if a panel of experts rules that they are clearly in appropriate and or a vastly superior technique and procedure has been developed.

Back to top
5. TOURISM MANAGEMENT

1.20 VISION

Within the constraints of the appropriate zones, PNP will have all its diverse features fully but aesthetically developed for a wide range of visitors. The hallmark of management will be the skilful blending of visitor facilities and intensive use, with a high level of preservation of aesthetic landscapes, biodiversity and natural ecological functions.

1.21 POLICY

PNP will continue to serve as wide a range of markets and activities as possible and their solution to tourism pressures will be dealt with through intensive visitor management programmes rather than narrowing down the target markets. It will also pro-actively facilitate the integration of PNP's tourism products with other products and opportunities outside PNP - specifically within neighbouring communities.

It is also policy to optimise the tourism potential within PNP through appropriate public/private partnerships in line with the Tourism in GEAR Strategy which subscribes that "tourism should be government led, private sector driven, community based and labour conscious".

1.22 OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

1.22.1 Self-drive vs. Guided Activities

PNP will cater for both self-drive as well as guided game viewing activities. All non-vehicular activities have to be guided, due to the presence of dangerous game, except in the instance of approved self-guided trails in designated areas such as in intensive visitor use zones.

1.22.2 Management of Tourism Activities and Visitor Densities

Park Management will remain flexible regarding visitor carrying capacities, rather than setting fixed limits on visitor numbers. Park Management will therefore implement a variety of visitor management techniques that are aimed at increasing visitor carrying capacities whilst reducing impacts. Possible strategies include;
· the strategic placement of tourist facilities, comfort stations, activities and amenities that will reduce traffic into the centre of PNP;
· the surfacing of certain peripheral visitor roads;
· constant monitoring of visitor profiles, patterns demands and attitudes;
· limiting vehicle entries to acceptable levels during peak periods;
· the selective provision of visitor information;
· the provision of conducted activities, visitor education and -information programmes; and
· special arrangements such as subsidised conducted drives over peak periods, open days during the off-season, etc.

1.22.3 Peripheral Developments

An immediate strategy will be to phase out accommodation facilities and visitor comfort stations from the basin and to explore new opportunities on the periphery. This will simultaneously reduce the impact on the basin whilst increasing the visitor carrying capacity. This action will also make it possible to utilise further development potentials along the western boundary.

The peripheral development strategy should also include the facilitation of new developments outside PNP that can divert internal pressures, stimulate the creation of new regional products and generate new benefits and opportunities for local communities.

1.22.4 Monitoring of Visitor Densities and Attitudes

Visitor entries, usage patterns and visitor reaction to current densities need to be closely monitored, so that the situation can be managed for as long as possible without having to set rigid limitations on entry levels and without having to apply a fixed policy regarding self-drive game viewing.

1.22.5 Access Control

A standardised visitor-friendly entry system that will also cater for entry control and market intelligence requirements will be in force. The system has to meet the needs of visitors, concessionaires and management. If cost-effective, such a Park entry system may be out sourced.

1.22.6 User Fees

Park visitors (including concessionaire guests) will pay an entry fee proportionate to their length of stay and/or in accordance with the season of their visit. This may also include a differential rate for "in-season", "off-season", "mid-week", "weekend" or "peak season" visitors" as well as affordable rates for certain target markets such as local communities, pensioners, etc.

1.22.7 Visitor Management

The Board will ensure that they have legislation in place that will allow Park Management appropriate powers to effectively enforce Park rules and regulations, as provided for in Section 31 of Act No. 3 of 1997 : North West Parks and Tourism Board Act, 1997.

Back to top
6. ZONING

1.23 VISION

PNP will be zoned to organise the development, visitor access and resource management of PNP, thus minimising potential conflict between various user groups. PNP will be zoned for the widest variety of tourism uses, with less emphasis on trophy hunting over time, as the benefits from tourism prove to outweigh that of hunting. Zoning will be a function of;

· the overall concept for PNP and its surroundings;
· accessibility for identified target markets;
· the physical, aesthetic and other potentials, capacities and constraints of the terrain;
· suitability for specific types of developments and activities;
· access to support infrastructure; and
· linkages and relationships with neighbouring zones, developments and activities.

1.24 POLICY AND GUIDELINES

PNP Management Task Team will decide on the zones and their location in PNP. Various categories of zones have been identified and are shown on the MAP (Click here to view map). The criteria for each zone will be developed along principles accepted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

1.24.1 Wilderness Zones (WZ)

These are areas set aside for the conservation of the natural ecosystem, with limited outside interference. Access is restricted to low density, non-vehicular and high quality guided activities that do not scar the landscape or the environment and may be shared by more than one concessionaire. No permanent developments other than water supply and peripheral management infrastructure will be allowed.

1.24.2 Wildlife Touring Zone (WT)

The largest zone in PNP is set aside for access to the general public as a medium to high density self- guided and guided wildlife touring zone, to satisfy their desire and right to enter state land. Outdoor recreational facilities and extensive visitor comfort stations may be provided within this zone, to optimise the carrying capacity of PNP. Developments should however be kept away from the central basin and as close to the periphery of PNP as possible, to minimise the impact and optimise the carrying capacity of the interior.

1.24.3 Exclusive Use Zones (EU)

These are areas in the immediate environs of a lodge, which is agreed to through negotiation with PNP Management Task Team. Broadly, the number of beds will affect the size of the zone, concession fee paid, capital costs of the development and its location with respect to unique natural features. While operators are not restricted to this zone, they do have exclusive use in it. Park Management, however, retains access and all management rights in these zones at all time. The operator retains any agreed development rights subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and possible renegotiations of concession fees and carries any costs associated therewith.

1.24.4 Restricted Communal Use Zones (RCU)

These areas are central or unique areas or features of PNP that are preserved for use by all concessionaires on an equal basis, but is not available to self-drive visitors.

It must be realised that the economic viability of the reserve is directly related to income generated from concession fees. Accordingly, the Board is bound to maximise income without detracting from the exclusivity to which the concessionaires are entitled. An area that will always have permanent access to all concessionaires include the Baile plain in the north-west.

1.24.5 Intensive Visitor Use Zones (IVU)

These are areas with intensive facilities and activities for educational and interpretative purposes and may allow self-guided trails. These zones are accessible to all visitors. To optimise visitor experiences, intensive habitat and wildlife management may occur.

1.24.6 Private Development Sites

These are areas of land which are fenced into the reserve through agreements with the Board, but which are owned by private individuals, companies, trusts, communities, etc. No access is allowed to these areas unless by prior arrangement with the landowners. Park Management, or their nominated agent, will obviously have access for control purposes.

1.24.7 Hunting

No portion of the reserve is permanently reserved for hunting. This activity will be conducted under strictly controlled conditions in areas periodically identified for this purpose by Park Management with due consideration being taken of other visitor activities and concessionaire rights. Normally, hunting will not take place in exclusive use zones, but could occur in exceptional circumstances.

1.24.8 Other Resource Use

No portion of the reserve is permanently reserved for resource use (eg. wood collection, thatch harvesting, etc). Such activities will be conducted under strictly-controlled conditions in areas periodically identified for this purpose by Park Management, in consultation with an ecologist, and with due consideration being taken of concessionaire rights.

Back to top
7. PRIVATE SECTOR

1.25 VISION

As a guiding principle, the Board encourages private sector involvement in PNP in all aspects that can be handled in a cost-effective, socially-responsible and practical manner and which meet with the Board's quality requirements.

All developments, investments or contracts undertaken must maximise the number of local people employed and the company or individual must be committed to developing the skills available in the area for the contract of development, where appropriate. Where possible, the work should be subcontracted out to local people if the skills are available. Priority will be afforded to those local people who wish to participate in PNP and its related activities when opportunities arise.

1.26 POLICY

In the spirit of the operation of PNP, it must be stated that the private sector, Park Management and the community are all shareholders in PNP. Good communication between these parties is therefore essential.

The private sector is seen as an important party in PNP, responsible for the planning, development, management, marketing and financing of lodge and hotel developments, as well as implementing projects and managing them on a contract basis where appropriate. These activities will create opportunities, such as jobs and small businesses. Where practical and feasible, these should be directed at the local people first. Should there be obstacles, especially regarding development and training needs, it is the responsibility of the private sector to identify these and address them where possible. In addition and where it proves cost-effective and meets required quality standards, supplies should be sourced locally. Local people and businesses should be afforded priority where possible.

1.27 DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

1.27.1 Selection Procedure and Criteria

All concession opportunities will be advertised publicly and contracts will be awarded according to formal Board Policy and Procedures and after adjudication against pre-set selection criteria.

1.27.2 Concession Allocation Authorities

For new lodge or hotel developments or for concessionaires to operate in the reserve, lease agreements must be entered into. The return from every concession should be commensurate with its rights, impacts and benefits in terms of the zoning policies, but should also be capable of at least making a proportionate contribution towards self-funding of tourist activities within PNP. For leases or concessions whose time period validity is for fifteen years or less, the Chief Executive Officer may approve the agreement. It is specifically recorded that these leases may not be extended beyond the fifteen-year period without the approval of the Board. These may be awarded on a demand basis according to reserve capacity, which will be determined by PNP Management Task Team. For leases in excess of fifteen years, approval from the Board is required. These leases must be awarded through a public procurement process with the assistance of the Board's commercial division, but are administered by Park Management once they are operational.

1.27.3 Proven Industry Role-players vs. Local SMME's

Generally, leases and contracts will be awarded to companies or individuals that have a good proven track record in the industry. However, for smaller contracts or leases, opportunities may be given to smaller newly established companies or individuals. Priority will be afforded to local people where quality, time and standards are commensurate to the reserve's needs.

1.27.4 Park Rules and Regulations

Developers, concessionaires and contractors must operate within defined codes of conduct and rules that are in place. These will be circulated by Park Management and may be amended by Park Management from time to time.

1.27.5 Limits of Development and Use

All concessionaire agreements will have explicit limits placed on sizes and levels of development, type and level of activities and on the nature and capacities of traversing rights.

1.27.6 Concession and Entry Fees

For the right to operate lodges, camps, etc. and concessions in the reserve, a concession fee will be levied.

The concession fees are determined by the Chief Executive Officer of the Board for concessions of fifteen years or less and by the Board for periods in excess of fifteen years. They are set in consultation with the PNP Management Task Team and the Board's commercial division with the express intention of at least making a proportionate contribution towards self-funding of tourist activities within PNP, in accordance with the following criteria:
· Size of development
· location within the reserve
· timing and nature of the development or operation and

In addition to the concession fees, an entrance / user fee will be levied for each visitor. Although the Board determines this, the PNP Warden in certain circumstances may waive it.

1.27.7 Allocation of Concession Fee Income

All fees levied and all income earned will be paid to PNP. All of these funds will be used for the following:-

· to contribute towards the development and operational costs of PNP's tourism infrastructure;
· to contribute towards the development and management costs of conservation within PNP; and
· to contribute towards PNP's community development projects and programmes.

1.27.8 EIA's

All developments must be done according to a formal development plan, for which an EIA must be carried out in accordance with Board requirements. The plan must be agreed to by PNP Management Task Team and may not be deviated from without consent. Also refer section 10.3.2.

1.27.9 Lease Development & Concession Agreements

In order to facilitate all of the above, appropriate agreements will have to be implemented between the relevant parties for each allocated concession, in accordance with a set format.

1.27.10 Numbers of Concessionaires and Developments

Concessionaire and visitor numbers will be set according to the following criteria:-

· to ensure PNP's tourism developments and activities are financially viable;
· to ensure that a significant contribution is made to the management and conservation of PNP; and
· to stimulate economic activity and social benefits within the region.

Although these criteria will be optimised within the constraints of the conservation policies, this will be done with due regard to the quality of the tourism product being offered.

Back to top
8. MARKETING

1.28 VISION

PNP is recognised as a prominent anchor project within the most significant tourism node of the North West Province. The PNP's role as an anchor project within a prominent tourism destination, PNP's history and successes in applying innovative and adaptive management models, including concepts such as sustainable use of wildlife resources, community involvement and private sector participation, must be marketed to the public.

1.29 POLICY

As a general principle, those who stand to benefit from the marketing of the particular product must carry the costs associated with the marketing. However, no marketing or the contents thereof is permitted that conflicts with the operations, policy or management guidelines of the reserve.

1.30 OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

1.30.1 Respective Marketing Roles

There are four components of marketing:

· the selling of the concept of the PNP, which includes the philosophy and policies of PNP. This is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer;
· the initial selling of development sites and concessions to the private sector. For concessions of less than five years, PNP Management Task Team will do this. For concessions longer than five years, this will be done by The Board's commercial arm (or an agent appointed by them) after consultation with PNP Management Task Team and the Board;
· the marketing of the lodges. This will be undertaken by the individual lodges or concessionaires; and
· the marketing of PNP and the region. The Board will endeavour to ensure that state agencies include PNP in regional or national marketing campaigns.

1.30.2 Joint Marketing

There may be some opportunities for both the Board and the private sector to market lodges and the reserve jointly. Where this is appropriate, the parties should work together. Close liaison between the parties should be encouraged.

1.30.3 Screening of Marketing Material

All marketing material concerning the reserve should be screened by Park Management to avoid creating false impressions about PNP. If this is not done, the Board may not be held liable for any statements concerning issues relating to the Board's management of PNP and surrounding areas and creating the impression that they speak on behalf of the Board.

Back to top
9. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

1 VISION

Recognising that Pilanesberg National Park has had and will continue to have a significant impact on neighbouring communities and will not be able to achieve its objectives without their understanding and appreciation, it is envisaged that the Park will have the support of all neighbouring and affected communities, especially those that were directly affected by the establishment and existence of the Park.

It is also envisaged that Pilanesberg National Park's stimulus to the local and regional economy will be recognised and that it will therefore be seen as an important vehicle through which rural development and transformation is achieved.

1.1 OBJECTIVE

The primary objective of Community Participation is to fast track community and emerging entrepreneur access to tourism activities and opportunities in and around Pilanesberg National Park, to stimulate local economic activities and job creation. [This will result in public understanding and support for Pilanesberg National Park and its projects and programmes, as a valid and beneficial land use option].

1.2 POLICY

Pilanesberg National Park, in line with national policies, has an important role in community empowerment generally and participation specifically, as acknowledged in the vision above. Capacity building within communities is however a non-core activity of the Park and will therefore be facilitated by optimally utilising the resources and capacities of other support institutions.

· The Park will therefore;

· establish appropriate fora through which communities can give their inputs to decision making and any significant changes in the policies and management of the Park;
· involve itself at all levels of community empowerment and participation;
· facilitate the necessary support mechanisms for community empowerment through external agencies (Donor NGO's, Government, Private Sector) before allocating its own resources;
· pro-actively identify and regularly expose all business opportunities to communities through an open-ended invitation and through a transparent and user-friendly process;
· where feasible, create special programmes and criteria that will give disadvantaged communities and emerging entrepreneurs (including management buyouts), preference of access to outsourcing contracts;
· in the case of tourism-based enterprises and other direct operational opportunities within the Park, limit its role in capacity building to that of a pro-active facilitator, by procuring appropriate support mechanisms within the private sector, NGO's, government and other agencies;
· in the case of peripheral enterprises, support services and industries, only be obliged to expose opportunities to all neighbouring communities and emerging entrepreneurs.

1.3 STRATEGIES

Community participation, understanding and support will be obtained through pro-actively implementing the following strategies:

· Establishment of effective communication mechanisms
· Running an education and awareness programme that will create the necessary understanding, appreciation and support for the Park, its objectives and its operations
· Engaging in appropriate partnerships that will access resources and capacities of community empowerment support agencies
· Constantly identifying opportunities and inviting communities and emerging entrepreneurs to participate
· Offering preference to communities and emerging entrepreneurs through special selection procedures and support programmes for identified community-based business opportunities
· Identifying and optimally utilising the opportunity to tap into the resources of external social programmes that are aligned to the objectives and policies of the Community Participation programmes (eg Poverty Relief, Job Creation, etc)

1.4 OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

1.4.1 Community Institutions

Pilanesberg National Park will maintain formal communication links with communities through recognised and representative (preferably existing regional and tribal) structures. These structures will be allowed representation on the Pilanesberg Communication Forum and their role is to provide a formal communication link with affected communities and to ensure that benefits are accessible to the entire community.

1.4.2 Communication

The Park will regularly engage in two-way communication with the recognised community institutions, allowing regular;

- communication with the Park Warden
- dissemination of important information
- exposure to opportunities within the Park
- participation in decision making processes, planning and management issues
- monitoring of community perceptions and attitudes.

Important community related information and programmes will be regularly disseminated through appropriate printed, electronic and other media. Target markets will include appropriate support institutions, government agencies, NGO's and politicians.

All identified opportunities will be regularly exposed to communities and emerging entrepreneurs.

6.1.1 Awareness and education programme

The North West Parks and Tourism Board will facilitate an appropriate education programme that will create awareness, appreciation and support amongst all communities of the North West Province, for the Protected Areas and their conservation and tourism policies, objectives and projects. The Park will provide access and make available appropriate facilities and infrastructure (ie Goldfields Education Centre and Bosele Camp) for such a programme.

Such an education programme and its successes will constantly be reviewed and improved; will build on previous experiences; and where appropriate, will be integrated with programmes of other government, NGO and private agencies. Appropriate partners, donor organisations and support institutions will therefore be identified and engaged in a joint venture to limit the drain on Park resources. Education related operations that are aligned with the park's policies and strategies may be allowed access to the Park and its infrastructure at special rates.

Special tailor-made programmes may be introduced for identified target markets, such aschildren, community leaders and structures, the business community, politicians, the media and the general public.

A regular independent and professional assessment will be done of trends in community perceptions and attitudes towards the Park, to enable management to improve relations with neighbouring communities.

6.1.2 Community Empowerment Partnerships

Where appropriate (refer policy), the Park will contractually engage Government, NGO, private and other agencies to establish the necessary support mechanisms and institutional capacities that will facilitate entrepreneurial and skills development and access to resources for local communities and entrepreneurs. The Park may also assist communities in establishing direct relationships with such agencies. All relationships will be established along predetermined guidelines and in accordance with approved programmes that will be monitored at predetermined stages and at regular intervals.

A database of support mechanisms and institutions in the field of capacity building, community empowerment, skills training and funding will be maintained and formal relationships will be established with appropriate role players.

6.1.3 Access to Commercial Opportunities within the Park

Participation in commercial (business) opportunities within the Park, by communities and emerging entrepreneurs, will be pro-actively pursued. Therefore, a permanent inventory will be kept of commercial opportunities available to communities and SMME's inside the Park; of emerging entrepreneurs within the community; and of potentials for management buyouts.

The selection process will be through an open invitation (instead of time limited once-off invitations) which will be regularly communicated to the relevant stake holders and will, through the selection criteria, be in favour of community-based and emerging entrepreneurs. Provided such an open invitation does exist and was advertised less than 12 months ago, a proposal from a community or emerging entrepreneur that meets all the non-negotiable criteria, may be entertained by following prescribed procedural guidelines for entering into a formal agreement. The success of this programme will be regularly monitored and re-assessed by the Park.

6.1.4 Park Communication Forum

It is a condition of lease that every concessionaire and operator inside the Park is obliged to participate in the Pilanesberg Communication Forum.

6.1.5 Employment and Small Business Development

Concessionaires inside the Park are obliged to optimise community participation through the application of supportive employment and business contract policies. This will be a material condition of every lease and will automatically be included in every existing contract that is assessed for renewal.

6.1.6 Peripheral Commercial Opportunities

Commercial opportunities outside the Park will be pro-actively identified on a regular basis and the potential for entrepreneurial participation and other linkage opportunities will be communicated to identified stake holders.

6.1.7 Utilising Social Programmes

Social programmes initiated by external organisations (eg. Job creation, Poverty relief, training initiatives and NGO support programmes) will be identified and tapped into where it has the potential to support Park objectives, strategies and projects.

6.1.8 Socioeconomic Survey

The Board will conduct an ongoing social survey in order to identify the needs, skills and economic status of the community as well as the population demographics. This will provide baseline data on which fundamental planning can be based and will also provide a benchmark against which changes can be measured from time to time. It will also provide indications as to what expectations there are concerning the Park and what issues will need to be addressed to deal with these needs or expectations. This will involve ongoing monitoring as well as less frequent but more intensive follow-up studies. These will be co-ordinated by the Development Task Team or Park Management.

Back to top
10. INFRASTRUCTURE

1.1 VISION

The Board will be responsible for the development and maintenance of general Park-, conservation and certain bulk infrastructure, whilst the private sector is responsible for tourism developments and related products within the respective concession areas allocated to them.

1.2 POLICY

The Board will ensure that the conservation infrastructure is developed and maintained throughout the entire Park. The Board will decide on standards and quality required and on the final placement of developments. This will be done within budgetary constraints and according to needs.

1.3 DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

1.3.1 Standards & Responsibilities

As a general guideline, PNP Management Task Team will ensure that most Park infrastructure, which is the Board's responsibility, is developed according to plans and budgets and Park Management will ensure that these are maintained in good working order. The Board's commercial arm will assist Park Management with monitoring and controlling private sector developments.

1.3.2 Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA's)

Every development within PNP, whether undertaken by PNP or by the Private Sector, will be subjected to the formal EIA process as prescribed by the law, before it can be approved and implemented, thus necessitating full consideration of the overall Park Management Plan. The developer is responsible for the cost of the EIA.

1.3.3 Roads

PNP Management Task Team will ensure that an appropriate road network is developed and Park Management will ensure they are maintained within the wildlife touring zone and the communal use areas. Most of these will be gravelled all-weather roads for use by sedan vehicles. Some may be paved or treated with a dust repellent (sealer), particularly on roads with high density use or as a mechanism to disperse traffic.

The roads and tracks in the exclusive use areas will be supplied and maintained by the lessee/s of the concession area.

1.3.4 Staff Accommodation

Park Management will supply and maintain accommodation for their own staff, according to Board policies. The lodges and private developers are responsible for supplying their own staff accommodation. If this is located within PNP, then it must be located within their own exclusive use area. Only staff who are directly involved with day-to-day operations may be accommodated within PNP. This accommodation must meet minimum industry standards and must form part of the development plan.

In instances where lodges has to supply Board staff with accommodation (eg. at special entrance gates), it must be built and maintained according to Board standards.

1.3.5 Offices & Workshops

Park Management will operate offices and workshops within the reserve for their own use as required. Should developers require similar facilities for their own use, these must be built according to the development plan in their own exclusive use areas.

1.3.6 Services

Telephones, radios, electricity and water for use by the lodges must be supplied, maintained and paid for by the lodges and they must ensure they have sufficient capacity to supply their needs. PNP will provide advice and, where necessary, will endeavour to facilitate negotiations with the relevant government departments in order to get these services into the area. All those services required for Park management will be supplied and maintained from PNP's operational costs.

1.3.7 Aircraft

No airstrips will be allowed inside PNP. No aircraft safaris will be permitted without the written consent of Park Management, but generally would not be encouraged.

1.3.8 Visitor Facilities

Facilities, such as hides, picnic areas and waterholes in exclusive use areas must be built and maintained by the lessee with Park Management's written consent. Should operators wish to construct facilities outside these areas, this must be negotiated and agreed to in writing with other operators in PNP on the principle that it is a communal facility and therefore available and accessible to all. Maintenance of those facilities, however, will be to the cost of the lodges. PNP Management Task Team will ensure waterholes and/or dams are supplied in the wilderness zone, the wildlife touring zone and the communal use areas, according to the water plan for game. Park Management will ensure that these are maintained. Park Management, in consultation with the reserve's ecologist, will control and regulate these facilities.

1.3.9 Fencing

PNP Management Task Team will ensure that adequate fencing is provided to contain the animals that occur in PNP. Park Management will ensure that this is maintained in good condition. All Board staff accommodation and facilities will be protected from wild animals where relevant. Once again, the lodges are responsible for ensuring the safety of their own staff and guests and should fence these areas adequately. Should they not be fenced, then the Board will not be liable for any claims that may arise from damage to property, injury or loss of life. Erection and maintenance of fencing of private property outside the formally proclaimed Park, will be agreed to according to the conservation priority the Board places on the land.

1.3.10 Entrance Gates

All entries into PNP will be under the control of the Board, although certain functions may be out sourced. Should developers wish to have additional gates other than those already present, then the implementation, maintenance and staffing costs will be borne by the developers. This includes Board staff accommodation and salaries and any other costs, if deemed necessary by Park Management.

1.3.11 Other Infrastructure

The Board will only construct structures necessary for management purposes (eg. dams, weirs, waterholes, etc.). Should private developers wish to develop structures other than in their own exclusive use areas, this must be negotiated in consultation with other developers and Park Management. Park Management, however, has the final say.

1.3.12 Siting of Lodges

The lodges and camps should ideally (but not necessarily) be on or as close to the periphery of PNP as possible, to reduce the impact of support services and to reduce the pressures on the central basin. As a general rule, the greater the impact, the closer to the periphery should the developments be. The costs of providing support services will be borne by the developer.

1.3.13 Infrastructure Related to Staff & Visitor Safety

The lodges are responsible for the safety of their guests, their staff and their families at all times. This includes providing appropriate fencing around facilities and providing adequate security on game drives or walks. Should the lodge decide not to fence their facilities and provide other protective measures, the Board will not be held liable for any losses or claims within their areas.

1.3.14 Visitor Safety and Security

The Board will maintain a secure entry control system, so that visitors and their belongings can be safe and secure. The Board and the concessionaires will collaborate to maintain a high level of security and safety for their visitors within PNP and each party is responsible for appropriate indemnity insurance at his own cost.

Back to top
11. LAND EXPANSION AND INCORPORATION

1.4 VISION

The area available for conservation and for viable ecotourism operations should be as large as possible.

1.5 POLICY

The Board should acquire as much land as is feasible under its title. However, if private landowners or communities wish to have their land 'fenced into' PNP (but still retain their little) and thereby allow the game to have unhindered access and allow compatible land management practices and ecotourism operations on their land, then this should be allowed subject to certain conditions.

1.6 OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

1.6.1 Objective

The Development Task Team should endeavour to obtain all land within PNP under formal Board title.

It is recognised that certain expansion opportunities exist along the periphery of PNP that may add significantly to the biodiversity and the size of PNP. Every effort should be made to ensure that these areas are 'incorporated into' PNP, as this can expand the socio-economic benefits from PNP through new tourism projects and can offer new commercial opportunities for neighbouring communities and land owners.

1.6.2 Conditions of Agreement

For land that is owned by individuals or communities who wish to have their land incorporated into the reserve by means of fencing it in, then this may be done subject to an agreement that includes inter alia the following conditions:
· the land must be fenced according to Board specifications and maintained in this condition at the landowner's cost;
· damaged fence must be repaired immediately or reported to Park Management. Should there be any breakouts of dangerous game, these must be reported immediately to Park Management;
· the fenced-in area must be registered against the title deed, detailing what restrictions have been imposed on developments and use of the property. These may only be altered with the Chief Executive Officer's approval;
· if private land is fenced into PNP and should the landowner's neighbour/s wish to join PNP, the landowner must agree to have the fence removed to allow game access to his/her neighbour's property;
· for a specified time, no hunting is permitted for any game that did not occur on the property before incorporation into PNP. This time will vary depending on the species involved. Other game may be hunted only if a quota has been set for PNP. PNP's ecologist will decide on numbers to be removed annually. The landowner will then be given a quota to hunt on his/her land only. This quota will be set in proportion to the amount of game he/she had at the time of incorporation compared with the population in the greater Park. These figures must be mutually agreed to. Should portions of animal quotas be left, these will be allocated by means of a random draw. Hunting will then only be permitted with permits issued by Park Management;
· no hunting is permitted within one kilometre of the reserve boundary; changing or erection of any fences may only be done with the Chief Executive Officer's approval;
· lodges and other tourist facilities that are built on private land are allowed access to PNP under similar conditions and fees as are charged to other operators in PNP. As a general rule, this should be encouraged as it reduces the impact of the developments in PNP. However, at least 60% of the number of lodges using PNP should be built in PNP itself; and
· Board staff must have free access to the property at all times to inspect the fence and game.

Back to top
12. REFERENCES

The following reference documents were used during the situation analysis process upon which this Management Plan was based:

Act No. 3 of 1997 : North West Parks and Tourism Act, 1997

Boonzaaier WV, Collinson RFH & Van Riet WF, A Five Year Development Plan for PNP, Sept 1983

Boonzaaier WV, North West Province Tourism Master Plan - Situational Analysis, Implications & Recommended Programmes, 1998

Boonzaaier WV, Platinum SDI Tourism Study - Updated Summary Report, 1998

Boonzaaier WV & J, Analysis and Comparison of Tourism Densities in PNP, 1999

Boonzaaier WV & Collinson RFH, Pilanesberg National Park Management Series: Volume II - Situation Analysis, 1999

Collinson RFH & Goodman P, Inkwe No 1., Environmental Research in Bophuthatswana, 1982

Conservation Sub-committee, Conservation Policy of the North West Parks & Tourism Board, 1999

Davies R, et al, A Review of the Protected Areas under the Control of the North West Parks and Tourism Board, 1998

Farrel and Van Riet, PNP Bophuthatswana - Planning and Management Proposals, August 1978

Garry White Associates, The Protected Areas Division of the North West Province Parks and Tourism Board - Strategic Planning and Organisation Development, 1998

Madikwe Development Task Team, Madikwe Development Series - No2: The Madikwe Game Reserve Management Plan, 1997

PNP 1st draft Management Manual (PMM), 1997

PNP Management Plan (Strategic Level), 1995

Vorhies D & F, Introducing Lion into PNP: an Economic Assessment, 1993

REACT Surveys, Results of Telephonic Research for North West Parks Board, March 1998

September 2000