New head for Table Mountain National Park

06 September 2016

Lesley-Ann Meyer TMNP ManagerAs we emerge from women's month, we celebrate the recent appointment of a woman as the new Table Mountain National Park manager. Hailing from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, Lesley-Ann Meyer took over the reins managing one of the most prestigious parks in the country.  "TMNP is a park within an urban setting, so there will be different approaches. However basic management principles will always apply". 

"I look forward to the challenges which lie ahead as park manager and to working with my new team and all stakeholders," said Meyer.  Meyer studied tourism at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and worked in the private sector for two years before joining SANParks in 2002. Meyer was the manager at Mountain Zebra National Park for three years and more recently the area manager of the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park before taking up her current position.

Mountain Zebra National Park was proclaimed in 1937 for the purpose of protecting the Cape Mountain Zebra who were threatened with extinction at the time. It is located in the Eastern Cape consists of beautiful plains, scenic mountain landscapes, ravines with Karoo vegetation and wooded valleys. Mammals found in this game reserve include the Cape Buffalo, Black Rhino, Cheetah, Caracal, Black Wildebeest, Eland, Red Hartebeest and Gemsbok. The higher areas of the park are home to Mountain Reedbuck and Grey Rhebok.

Established in 1964, the 80km long Tsitsikamma coastline is the largest and oldest MPA in the country. Indeed, the word "Tsitsikamma" means "the place of many waters". Tsitsikamma is also home to one of the Garden Route's big trees, a yellowood that is nearly 1 000 years old.

Having experience of managing both an inland park and a coastal park, Meyer is passionate about a range of conservation issues. Now responsible for again managing a marine protected area (MPA) where pollution and poaching are the two most prevalent threats, one of Meyer's passions is the protection of abalone. Abalone is on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red data list as either vulnerable or near threatened.

We congratulate and thank Meyer for being an inspiration to women in the sector; and wish her all the best in her new position.

Original article by Karen Watkins.

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