South African National Parks (SANParks) has received numerous complaints about the newly-installed infrastructure on the Lion’s Head trail after the route was reopened on Friday, March 1.
“SANParks echoes these sentiments and we understand the disappointment our hikers may feel. The tender that was awarded for infrastructure maintenance was done in a fair, open and equitable manner whilst complying with all Supply Chain Management guidelines,” SANParks said in an official statement.
Mountain safety group Table Mountain Hikers took to social media just a few days after the trail’s official reopening, sharing images of the state of disrepair of the popular trail.
We are alerting everyone to possible unsafe conditions on the new Lions Head trail
Please avoid until proper and professional assessment can be done pic.twitter.com/ckdXSPPt4z
— Table Mountain Watch (@TableMntnWatch) March 3, 2019
According to SANParks, the contractor awarded the tender to do rehabilitation work on the trail met the requirements, and commenced work when the trail closed. “Regrettably, quality control was an on-going challenge and our conservation team inspected work on a daily basis. Corrective measures that needed to be put in place were communicated to the contractor as these issues arose.”
An area on the mountain remains cordoned off despite SANParks claiming the work was completed to a satisfactory level and that a Certificate of Compliance is is yet to be issued for this specific area.
“This matter is currently being resolved with the contractor,” SANParks said. “We have encouraged hikers to make use of the existing staples and chains or the trail segment that circumvents the cordoned off infrastructure. Visitors are still able to reach the summit through the spiral trail that completely excludes the staples and chains. ”
SANParks wishes to inform the public that it will be taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation on the trail. Until such time that it can guarantee safe passage, the trail with the newly-installed infrastructure will remain closed off and notices will remain in place.
It apologises for the inconvenience caused.