Johannesburg - Cosatu is angry that SANParks’s special offer of free access to national parks this week did not include Sunday – and said this favoured wealthy whites as no “working families” were able to take time off to visit parks during the week or on a Saturday.
Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich wrote to SANParks to say its special offer was discriminatory.
“What working family can go to a national park during the week or on a Saturday? These are days when working families are working hard to make ends meet,” Ehrenreich said.
“If you were serious about giving ordinary South Africans access to the overpriced national parks, you would make it available for the Sunday also, at the very least, as that is the day working families can afford not to work and take their families out.”
He accused board members of having become so assimilated into the system that they saw the marginalisation of the poor as normal. If the board did not reply, Cosatu would start a public campaign against SANParks.
Asked to comment, SANParks chief executive David Mabunda forwarded his reply to Ehrenreich, which had pointed out “misunderstanding or misinformation”.
The purpose of the free week was not to promote tourism in the off-season – it was intended to teach people about conservation.
He said it would be very difficult to run the free programme over weekends as this could cause congestion. - The Star