The only proven statement is that Kruger provides over R2 Billion in income to Mpumalamga annually, and supports over 40 000 local community members.
The rest is speculative spin and twaddle, to justify unfounded expansion and hide financial windfalls that may benefit a select few by 2022.
It may be prudent at this juncture to also speculate on the ghastly alternative outcome of this stupid plan.
1. The hotels become white elephants, or at best struggle like most of the luxury concessions, leaving Sanparks or their partners with financial hangovers in excess of Kruger's annual budget due to the input costs!
2. Few if any black visitors flock to overnight in the hotels. After all, why should they, as similar accommodation has been available inside and outside the Park for decades!?
3. Once self-drive is abolished, with the dramatic associated increase in tarriffs linked to staying in hotels and being forced to join outsourced group game drives, there is an almost total shut-down of tourist interest in Kruger from traditional "purist" local visitors, who form the backbone of Kruger's and therefore Sanparks' annual income. They/I will head to private reserves ASAP!
4. Foreign tourists, already struggling under the constraints of the Global Recession, and the regulars also feeling betrayed, will most certainly remove Kruger from their itineraries, and more alarmingly, often cancel their SA trip in favour of other Safari destinations...many of which are well-established in Africa and will gleefully adapt their product to fill the Kruger niche quickly...their governments understand their value and don't have silly issues!
5. Meanwhile, the entire Mpumalanga and part of Limpopo's economies begin to collapse in chaos as tourist revenue slowly dries up, fringe industries close up shop, local families once dependant on the age-old "Kruger production line" lose all their income and jobs, even the N4 toll-road starts to lose massive revenue, KMIA airport closes it's doors while still heavily in the red trying to pay off its debts....etc.
6. And, obviously, by that time funds will have dried up for the Conservation and Scientific Research departments in Kruger, trust me, as Government will NOT step in there financially while the other chaos is going on! Rangers will leave or be retrenched, or turn to poaching, and rhinos will be fair game like never before!
7. The other 21 SA National Parks will instantly go bankrupt as the Kruger Cash Cow dries up, leading to even more chaos countrywide!
I wonder if the powers that be have ever thought about a "worst case scenario" like this? And it can happen VERY quickly, trust me!