Local non-profit organisation, TokaiMTB, has launched several safety initiatives for the Tokai Forest with the support of SANParks and other NPOs.

The organisation was prompted to do so by several incidences of crime occurring in the forest over the past few years. The key aim of its initiatives is to ensure emergencies can be responded to quickly.

TokaiMTB’s first safety initiative was the launching of an emergency service number in 2016, which greatly improved the response time to incidents in the area. Deon de Villiers, Table Mountain National Park liaison of TokaiMTB, explains that previous services were not able to reach scenes of emergency fast enough.

“This often meant a big delay in dispatching a rescue team closest to the position from where the call came and with vital knowledge of the layout of the area,” de Villiers says.

TokaiMTB implemented a safety patrol in Tokai Forest at the start of 2018. The patrol’s safety marshals keep watch over the whole forest and closely monitor the seven crime hotspots in the forest.

The safety marshals are easily identifiable with branded gear and hi-vis vests – highly helpful to those in need of assistance.

TokaiMTB/Safety marshals/ Facebook

As a member of the Table Mountain Security Action Group, TokaiMBT has been working hard to make a personal safety program that aligns with the City, SANParks and emergency response groups.

The organisation is developing technology designed to help quicken the reaction time of their emergency response units.

We have to keep the details of the technology we’ve helped test for the program under wraps – to ensure the safety and efficacy of the system – but all tests so far have been highly successful in showing how we can further reduce the time between incident and alert, to get the message out to available first responders,” says de Villiers. 

In an effort to ensure those in need of emergency assistance can always be reached by response units, a donation was given to TokaiMTB by Gnu World Media, a Cape Town digital marketing firm.

Gnu World Media donated a Merida Big Seven 500 electric mountain bike to the NPO initiative, so that emergency responders can get to individuals in danger faster.

Director of Gnu World Media, Andrew Ziffo, explains the benefits of the new electric bike.

“Motorised vehicles are limited to where they can access and how fast they can travel around the Park. We hope the e-bike will ensure that anyone in danger or injured – especially those in hard-to-reach places – will be helped faster than before,” Ziffo says.

Deon de Villiers and Andrew Ziffo with the Media Big Seven 500 electric mountain bike

Picture: Facebook/ Tokai Forest

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