ECape Field Rangers hon­oured

Grocott's Mail - - OUTSIDE LOCAL AND LOVELY - By BONKE LIWANI

The heroic ac­tions of the East­ern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency’s men and women field rangers who risk their lives to pro­tect and con­serve nat­u­ral re­sources do not go un­no­ticed. They were ac­knowl­edged, cel­e­brated and re­warded. Field Rangers Day paid trib­ute to the cur­rent and past gen­er­a­tions of rangers from all dis- tricts of the East­ern Cape, at Thomas Baines Na­ture Re­serve on Fri­day 18 Au­gust.

The ECPTA’S Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Vuyani Day­i­mani, and MEC (Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs and Tourism) Sakhumzi Somyo were in at­ten­dance to per­son­ally show sup­port and give a mes­sage of hope to the staff mem­bers and rangers. They raised aware­ness about the dan­gers of poach­ing, and most im­por­tant gave thanks to the com­mit­ted and brave men and women watch­ing over the East­ern Cape’s nat­u­ral as­sets.

Spe­cial ap­pre­ci­a­tion was given to the re­tired field rangers who were in at­ten­dance on the day, to re­mind them that they are still a big part of the ECPTA’s fam­ily.

They help with the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of field rangers, with life-sav­ing in­for­ma­tion about the job and daily pre­cau­tions to en­sure they make it home safely.

The re­tired rangers wore khaki and blue caps and shirts, as op­posed to the ac­tive mem­bers who were dark-green­clad.

The ECPTA’s Day­i­mani handed over cer­tifi­cates of ser­vice to the el­ders, as a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their long­stand­ing com­mit­ment.

A num­ber of other achieve­ment awards were handed to mem­bers who showed had brav­ery, and a va­ri­ety of ath­letic feats that mem­bers had to dig deep to achieve.

Spe­cial men­tion was made, to en­cour­age the women on the ground to stay strong as they are. There are not many women field rangers, and the ECPTA hopes that the grow­ing trend of women in­volved will match and per­haps sur­pass the men who are al­ready field rangers.

“Rangers are the men and women that work at the sharp end of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

It is there­fore of great im­por­tance that as ECPTA we pay ho­mage to th­ese true guardians of our nat­u­ral world,” said Day­i­mani.

Rangers and re­cip­i­ents of brav­ery awards,flanked by ECPTA’s CEO Vuyani Day­i­mani (left) and MEC Sakhumzi Somyo (right).

Re­tired field rangers who were awarded ex­cel­lent ser­vice cer­tifi­cates with ECPTA CEO,Tourism Board mem­bers and MEC at a func­tion at Thomas Baines Re­serve on Fri­day. Pho­tos: Bonke Liwani

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