Jonkershoek is a popular spot with nature-lovers across the Western Cape, and CapeNature is asking hikers and other outdoorsmen to share their input on how to better access the area’s Nature Reserve.
CapeNature’s decision to establish a Protected Area Advisory Committee in the coming months is a result of the body coming under fire for banning vehicles from entering the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in December 2019.
The body’s decision to ban vehicle access was determined by several incidents involving vehicles obstructing the road during fire season. Since the ban has been instated, however, more than 5 000 people have signed a petition opposing the ban.
While the ban has since been lifted, those who want to visit the nature reserve are still confused as to how many vehicles are allowed into the reserve each day.
Speaking to CapeTalk, Steve Chadwick, a local master hiker, says it seems that access has been restricted to 20 vehicles per day. A reporter named Norman McFarlane, who is under the employ of Bolander Lifestyler, argues that he was informed by CapeNature representatives that there is currently no vehicle limit in place.
According to CapeTalk, CapeNature has previously been accused of failing to facilitate constructive engagement after plans to host a public participation process regarding access to the hiking trail never happened.
“Stakeholder engagement for us is critical. We are looking at engaging people that are interested in this,” Petro van Rhyn, CapeNature spokesperson said. “Unfortunately, [the public participation process] was something that was put forward as a suggestion from MTO and it didn’t happen. I think maybe, because of the high number of incidents, the urgency of the matter might have given way.”
If you would like to be added to CapeNature’s stakeholder database, email: [email protected]