JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The South African government declared free access to the selected national parks owned by the government for a week to encourage the people to know and protect them.
Barbara Creecy, South African minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, said Friday that all South Africans can visit the country's national parks for free from Sept. 16 to 24 on their annual South African National Parks Week.
"National Parks Week is an ideal opportunity for us to introduce the majesty and beauty of the country's national parks to the people, especially to communities who seldom get to experience and enjoy these areas of conservation, cultural heritage and biological diversity," Creecy said. "Since the inception of the South African National Parks Week in 2006, more than 619,292 South Africans, who may not otherwise have had an opportunity to visit a national park, have participated."
Allowing free access is part of the government's strategy to protect the fauna and flora to make people appreciate their heritage and protect it, according to the minister.