Thanda Safari - Luxury Private Game Reserve - Hluhluwe, KwaZulu Natal, 3915, South Africa

Community Based Natural Resource Management

  • Community 1 - V5

Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) is about people coming together to protect their land, water, animals and plants, so that they can use these natural resources to improve the lives of future generations. It is a tool to enable every willing member of the community to play a part in improving the quality of people’s lives – economically, culturally and spiritually.

Across the country, mostly in the rural areas, there are many people who are harvesting the wild plants and animals and, in the process, are finding ways to preserve nature for the benefit of future generations. How they go about doing this has great influence on species protection, stable governance, improved quality of lives, reduced levels of poverty and the conservation of biodiversity.

Thanda is part of this community and views itself as a private enterprise partner that believes in this philosophy and is willing and committed to embrace the principles of CBNRM and to participate wherever possible in the economic and social upliftment and development of neighbouring communities.

Thanda, with its luxury accommodation, world-class service excellence and private game reserve home to natural wildlife species including the Big Five, contrasts enormously with the challenges of rural communities who live nearby.

From the onset of the development of Thanda, no one has appreciated more the contrast between the R200-million private lodge and game reserve development and its nearby rural community neighbours more than the owners, Dan and Christin Olofsson as well as Thanda’s Managing Director, Pierre Delvaux. Pierre, who is South African and locally based, is no stranger to Zululand and its rural communities.

A partner in a local accounting and management consulting firm for the past 15 years, Pierre, has consulted for many local and international rural development and funding organisations involved in community development and upliftment programmes in Zululand.

Dan and Christin Olofsson of Malmo, Sweden, believe that the participation and involvement of nearby rural communities is essential to foster enduring relationships with Thanda’s neighbours.

Within 25-kilometres of Thanda lie some of the most impoverished rural communities in South Africa, exacerbated by high levels of unemployment and coupled with illnesses such as the deadly AIDS virus. Some of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in South Africa occur in the Hlabisa and Ubombo magisterial districts, both of which are in close proximity to Thanda.

Thanda believes that a longstanding relationship with the community is built and sustained on trust and active engagement through effective communication. Apart from creating new employment for some 143 staff members who reside on the property, Thanda has employed and trained some 58 local men and women as performing dancers at Vula Zulu. These dancers live at home in the surrounding communities and come to work each day where they work in the Vula Zulu theatrical showcase and Zulu Cultural Centre. By living at home minimal disruption occurs to their social lives and they are able to continue providing for their families on a daily basis. A further 26 local community residents are employed on contract labour with an additional 20 members working for an outsourced contractor involved in alien weed eradication and bush thinning. This means that 247 new jobs have been created by Thanda that feed close on 1800 people.

Thanda supports the government’s guidelines on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BEE) and has adopted a procurement policy where preference is given to small back entrepreneurs. In addition, Thanda has a democratically elected staff forum that represents all staff concerning welfare and workplace matters. Thanda has also embarked on an employment equity programme that seeks to create opportunities for black staff to grow into management positions through a mentorship and empowerment process. Thanda has a black HOD (Head of Department) as well as five managers.

The most significant contribution being made by Thanda however is through the Thanda Foundation and the JAC Initiative. JAC stands for Jobs, Aids and Conservation.

Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) is about people coming together to protect their land, water, animals and plants, so that they can use these natural resources to improve the lives of future generations. It is a tool to enable every willing member of the community to play a part in improving the quality of people’s lives – economically, culturally and spiritually.

Across the country, mostly in the rural areas, there are many people who are harvesting the wild plants and animals and, in the process, are finding ways to preserve nature for the benefit of future generations. How they go about doing this has great influence on species protection, stable governance, improved quality of lives, reduced levels of poverty and the conservation of biodiversity.

Thanda is part of this community and views itself as a private enterprise partner that believes in this philosophy and is willing and committed to embrace the principles of CBNRM and to participate wherever possible in the economic and social upliftment and development of neighbouring communities.

Thanda, with its luxury accommodation, world-class service excellence and private game reserve home to natural wildlife species including the Big Five, contrasts enormously with the challenges of rural communities who live nearby.

From the onset of the development of Thanda, no one has appreciated more the contrast between the R200-million private lodge and game reserve development and its nearby rural community neighbours more than the owners, Dan and Christin Olofsson as well as Thanda’s Managing Director, Pierre Delvaux. Pierre, who is South African and locally based, is no stranger to Zululand and its rural communities.

A partner in a local accounting and management consulting firm for the past 15 years, Pierre, has consulted for many local and international rural development and funding organisations involved in community development and upliftment programmes in Zululand.

Dan and Christin Olofsson of Malmo, Sweden, believe that the participation and involvement of nearby rural communities is essential to foster enduring relationships with Thanda’s neighbours.

Within 25-kilometres of Thanda lie some of the most impoverished rural communities in South Africa, exacerbated by high levels of unemployment and coupled with illnesses such as the deadly AIDS virus. Some of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in South Africa occur in the Hlabisa and Ubombo magisterial districts, both of which are in close proximity to Thanda.

Thanda believes that a longstanding relationship with the community is built and sustained on trust and active engagement through effective communication. Apart from creating new employment for some 143 staff members who reside on the property, Thanda has employed and trained some 58 local men and women as performing dancers at Vula Zulu. These dancers live at home in the surrounding communities and come to work each day where they work in the Vula Zulu theatrical showcase and Zulu Cultural Centre. By living at home minimal disruption occurs to their social lives and they are able to continue providing for their families on a daily basis. A further 26 local community residents are employed on contract labour with an additional 20 members working for an outsourced contractor involved in alien weed eradication and bush thinning. This means that 247 new jobs have been created by Thanda that feed close on 1800 people.

Thanda supports the government’s guidelines on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BEE) and has adopted a procurement policy where preference is given to small back entrepreneurs. In addition, Thanda has a democratically elected staff forum that represents all staff concerning welfare and workplace matters. Thanda has also embarked on an employment equity programme that seeks to create opportunities for black staff to grow into management positions through a mentorship and empowerment process. Thanda has a black HOD (Head of Department) as well as five managers.

The most significant contribution being made by Thanda however is through the Thanda Foundation and the JAC Initiative. JAC stands for Jobs, Aids and Conservation.

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