Table Talk

'I prefer wildlife to politicians. You can predict wildlife,' says SANParks CEO

Jonathan Ancer meets the not-so-lone ranger who keeps watch on SA’s 19 national parks, thousands of rangers and other services, millions of tourists and community members, and the natural beauty and vulnerable life at the heart of it all

04 August 2019 - 00:00 By Jonathan Ancer

There’s a not-so-secret country hidden in plain sight within SA. It spreads over 4-million hectares, provides water and electricity to its people, has its own traffic services, medical corps, police force, K9 unit, army and air wing. It even has an elite covert ops division.

This is the “Republic” of SANParks, and 53-year-old Fundisile Mketeni is its “prime minister”. Which is to say, the buck stops with him. “You could say my mandate is loaded,” grins the SANParks CEO...

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