Groups of hikers across Cape Town have announced that they are fed up with the lack of security in and around the Table Mountain National Park, and have advised their members on the possible threats to their personal safety while enjoying outdoor activities on the picturesque mountain.
The Cape Town section of the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) has urged its members to be cautious when planning hiking routes. “If you use the mountain, this affects you and I urge you to take action rather than just sit on your hands and wait for others to do something,” the group said via Facebook. “A number of us are working on a proposal to get funding for Mountain Men to assist with the security on Table Mountain on top of the plan that government will be rolling out next week.”
The group added that the issue of security and personal safety affects all those who make use of the mountain.
The Table Mountain Security Action Group (TMSAG) is also lobbying for authorities to come up with a comprehensive plan to protect all mountain users.
“The recent series of assaults on trail runners and hikers on the Saddle at the top of Newlands Ravine, as well as on walkers, hikers, runners and cyclists in Newlands forest, represent a significant shift in the level of violence involved, unfortunately similar to that of the tragic attacks in the Kalk Bay and Karbonkelberg areas earlier this year,” the group said. “The MCSA is integrally involved with the TMSAG, an initiative involving over forty mountain user groups, neighbourhood watches and security associations, who are pursuing positive actions behind the scenes to combat these hazards in very difficult circumstances. The TMSAG is actively lobbying ALL the authorities to come up with a meaningful plan to protect mountain users – locals, visitors and tourists alike – and to apprehend those who would threaten us in what should be a safe and peaceful environment.”
The MCSA has also highlighted the following areas as danger hotspots within the Table Mountain National Park:
– Newlands Forrest
– Newlands Ravine
– Saddle behind Devil’s Peak
– Slopes of Devil’s Peak
– Biking trails on Table Mountain
Other “high risk” areas include:
– Signal Hill
– Lion’s Head
– Kommetjie Beach
– Sandy Bay
– Blackburn Ravine
– Peer’s Cove
– Sunrise Beach
The MCSA considers Silvermine East and the Kalk Bay mountains to be ‘safer’ hiking areas, while areas such as Cape Point, Orange Kloof, the Apostles and Silvermine West have remained relatively incident free as of late.
“It is utterly unacceptable that we are forced to endure the threat of violence while enjoying our mountains and beaches,” the MCSA said. “The MCSA is striving, along with many other mountain user groups, to do whatever we can to combat crime, keep up pressure on the authorities, and to work towards evolving solutions to improve safety.”