SANParks has reportedly said its Table Mountain rangers are being attacked by visitors demanding access to some of the mountain sections that are currently closed following last month’s devastating fire.
According to IOL, SANParks said some visitors had subjected rangers to physical and verbal abuse, because they were not happy that some sections of the park remained closed.
The report quoted Parkscape founder Nicky Smidth as saying it was unfortunate that the public had adopted a lack of respect and an entitled attitude to the mountain
“In this particular instance, the fire-damaged section of the park carries real risk and at multiple levels, thus requesting the public to stay out of these areas is both for the good of the public and restoration efforts…,” Smidth said.
Earlier this month, SANParks indicated that rehabilitation work had started in the Table Mountain National Park following the fire that caused mass destruction last month.
The wildfire broke out on Sunday, April 18, and damaged at least 11 structures in the city.
These included two houses in the Rosebank area, six education buildings on the University of Cape Town campus, heritage buildings including the Mostert’s Mill and UCT’s Jaffer Library, and the restaurant at Rhodes Memorial.
The manager at Table Mountain National Park, Frans van Rooyen, said certain areas would remain closed until rehabilitation work was completed, particularly in the Rhodes Memorial and Deer Park areas.
Calls and messages
“We are inundated with calls and messages from users who would want to go back and embark on various activities within the areas, but unfortunately at this stage, it is unsafe to allow access until the rehabilitation work has been finalised… and we request a bit of patience from the users,” Van Rooyen said.
The rehabilitation work included the following projects:
• Removal/felling/clearing of burnt material such as trees along footpaths and boardwalks.
• Soil stabilisation with the assistance of the City of Cape Town to prevent mudslide and water runoff.
• Foot-path Maintenance.
• Monitoring of soil erosion.
• Boardwalk repairs.
• Repairing of water pipelines.
• Repairing of electricity lines.
• Signage replacement.