Rehabilitation work is still underway in the Rhodes Memorial section of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) after a devastating fire destroyed more than 650 hectares of land.
According to SANParks, the TMNP, together with an appointed service provider conducted an assessment of the burnt area and identified 280 burnt trees for felling along Rhodes Memorial.
Felling operations commenced in the area on August 16 and is set to be completed by the end of November 2021 if the weather permits. To date, 434 trees including Devil’s Peak and Game Camp Area, have been successfully felled by the contractor.
The “partial reopening of the area has been granted to users by TMNP management which allows hikers, runners, cyclists, etc. to make use of the area through the turnstile located at the main entrance. Vehicle access is not permitted at this stage as felling operations continue. We urge users to be cautious when carrying out their activities in the area,” said TMNP Park Manager, Mr. Frans van Rooyen.
And what about the much-loved restaurant that’s on everyone’s mind? Well, the good news is that the fire assessment at the Rhodes Tea Room has been finalised. Insurers also appointed a Heritage Architect to oversee the construction work while contractors were brought on board to clean the damaged area and safeguard areas of the building.
There has, however, been delays to the possible rebuilding of the Tea Room as a result of discussions with the Department of Public Works who are the custodians of the Land, as SANParks adds. The Tea Room is also a Heritage Site and all deliberations and decisions on the building must be approved by Heritage Western Cape.
If the Park makes the decision to rebuild the restaurant, Heritage Western Cape will have to approve these plans. All the infrastructure related to water, electricity and sewerage systems were severely affected by the fire and have to be re-established.
The insurers are busy with evaluations and in the process of appointing service providers to commence with the work. TMNP will keep the public informed of all the developments through regular communication.