The recent death of a Ukrainian hiker as well as 14 other attacks reported in the Table Mountain area this year has prompted SANParks to deploy more rangers to bolster security and better ensure the safety of visitors to Cape Town’s iconic landmark.
At World Rangers Day, held in Cape Town on July 31, Managing Executive for parks at SANParks Property Mokoena announced that 120 new rangers will be introduced into the Table Mountain National Park to survey the area.
“We are in the process of appointing 120 rangers, who will be deployed in the different functional areas, of which safety is one of their priorities. The program is going to be funded by the national Department of Tourism and we welcome that and appreciate it. Monitors will be placed in all the Cape region parks including this national park, Table Mountain,” said Mokoena in a speech he gave during the World Ranger Day event.
Mokoena also discussed the need for SANParks to restructure the training that park rangers receive as more and more incidents of crime are taking place within national parks.
He confirmed that one of the main focuses for SANParks in coming months will be to improve the training of rangers and better prepare them for such incidents.
“The training which we give to our rangers, we need to adapt to that setup because our rangers were originally trained to protect and conserve the biodiversity of the national parks. Most of the serious threats which faces our rangers, especially in this area, is criminal activity which is done by people. So, it changes the entire modalities of a ranger today,” he said during his speech.
Rangers have an increasingly dangerous job of not only fighting against criminals committing robbery and murder but also those poaching precious animals within the reserves they work in.
As World Ranger Day was celebrated yesterday a new era of highly prepared, better trained and aware rangers has just began.