Parks not perks should be driving force

I WANT to add my voice to the protests about the short-sightedness of the decision to charge full rates for game parks in the metro.

Apart from the pleasure local residents derive from the park, there is also a bigger picture.

PE lacks many of the natural advantages that attract tourists in droves to more charismatic places like Cape Town or the little Karoo dorpies. Despite that, many citizens have gone out of their way to provide attractions that will bring tourists. One of our treasures is the Kragga Kamma Game Park. It is the first place we take international visitors to and they love it.

To endanger its future for the sake of a little bureaucratic nitpicking is ridiculous. Has anyone in council, with a bit of financial savvy, actually done the maths and worked out the benefits of having this park in the city? I am sure these benefits hugely outweigh the bit that will be gained by pushing up their rates to an unsustainable level.

The annoying part is that, while the future of this unique gem is in the balance, current trends suggest it is possible that money derived from the rates increase could be used to benefit only a handful of individuals and, in fact, pay for extravagant parties and perks for ineffectual councillors.

But this park benefits all the residents of the metro in terms of tourism revenue and jobs within the industry.

Sue Hoppe, Richmond Hill

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