The New SANParks CEO Is Fundisile Mketeni
December 2014, Volume 12-6

Fundisile Mketeni was appointed as the CEO of the SA National Parks (SANParks) in October and his appointment on a five-year contract was approved by the South African Cabinet. Mketini leaves his job as Deputy Director General in the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism after 10 years of excellent service and dedication to the conservation of South Africa’s rich biological diversity. He replaces acting CEO Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa.

Mketeni, who holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management and has 25 years’ experience in the field of Environmental Management and Biodiversity and Conservation, will face the huge challenges of rhino poaching in his new job; as a conservation career professional with extensive experience in conservation management he will have to muster all his abilities to address the scourge head on.

Mketeni welcomed the confidence placed on him by the SANParks board and the minister and said in a statement “I am committed to continuing with the good work and also to positioning the organisation as a lead agent in conservation nationally, regionally and globally”.

Background: Fundisile Mketeni’s career at SANParks saw him serve as the Chief Operating Officer for the 19 National Parks except the Kruger National Parks, and acted as Executive Director:  Parks before taking up the position of DDG: Biodiversity and Conservation in the Department of Environmental Affairs in 2004. He has played an instrumental role in the development and implementation of South Africa’s rhino anti-poaching legislation and policies as he headed the development of the Rhino Safety and Security  Strategy and the Rhino Issue Management Process. He lead the South African negotiating teams to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) between 2004 and 2012. Mr Mketeni also played a leading role in the development and implementation of the country’s Elephant Management Policy. He is presently the chair of the South African National Committee of the International Conservation Union (IUCN), the current chairperson of the African Group under the UNCCD  and the Bureau Member for Africa of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) established in 2012 as an independent intergovernmental body committed to the credible assessment of the state of the planet’s biodiversity, its ecosystems and the essential services these systems provide to society.

Author: Gerhard Damm