14 May 2007

St. Lucia Wetland Park is no longer...

...it is now called iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 13 May 2007
Title: New name for SA's first World Heritage site

By Bongani Mlangeni; tel: (012) 314 2404

South Africa's first World Heritage Site, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, has been renamed in an effort to give the park a name that better reflects its unique identity and sense of place.

The new name is iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced on Sunday.

"We are delighted to have a new name that will take the park into the future.

"This will be integrated with the launch later this year of our new branding linked to specific marketing, advertising and public relations activities," said Minister van Schalkwyk.

The name has been approved by the National Cabinet and was gazetted this past Friday in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act and will be effective from the 01 November 2007.

He added that the 220 000 hectare Wetland Park had outgrown the name of St Lucia, linked to the town and lake of the same name.

The consolidated boundaries of the park now include a third of the length of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, and destinations such as Kosi Bay, Lake Sibaya, Sodwana Bay and uMkhuze Game Reserve.

"In the broad consultations throughout the past two years it was clear that there was overwhelming support to change the name.

"It was widely accepted that the description of Wetland Park be retained and be linked with a descriptive indigenous word," the minister said.

The park has improved its infrastructure and increased a number of species in the game resulting in economic growth.

According to the department there's a significant growth in tourism beds in the region including a 60 percent growth in the number of establishments as a direct result of the development in the park and marketing value added through its World Heritage status. - BuaNews

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