Table Mountain Safety Forum approach Proving Successful
Joint statement by
Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Paddy Gordon, Table Mountain National Park Manager (SANParks)
Petrus Roberts, Director: Policing and Enforcement City of Cape Town (CoCT)
Marc Truss, Chairperson Table Mountain Safety Forum (TMSF)
The Table Mountain Safety Forum (TMSF) is proving successful in assisting to enhance safety in the Table Mountain National Park.
An integrated approach to safety was applied over the festive season, with daily successes including:
- Early detection and responses to criminal activities, injuries and fires in and around the mountain;
- Visible safety deployment by the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African National Parks (SANParks) Rangers, City of Cape Town Metro Police, Law Enforcement and Traffic; and
- Improved response to traffic congestion on feeding routes to and around the main tourist attraction sites on the mountain.
We also welcome the establishment of the Fire Task Team. The Task team includes the City of Cape Town, the SAPS, SANParks and the Fire Department. The Task Team coordinates fire responses and acts where arson is suspected. Currently the Task Team is already investigating four criminal cases.
The Cableway welcomed a record number of 149 000 visitors in December 2015, a whopping 32% increase compared to the same period in 2014. In total, there was close to 970 000 visitors to the Cableway in 2015.
The Forum is happy to report that rescue operations and responses to criminal activity were well-coordinated despite the increase in visitors:
- There were 27 rescue operations conducted in the Table Mountain National Park in January 2016, decreasing to 13 in February; and
- Four criminal incidents of muggings were reported in January 2016, which has been reduced to one incident in February 2016.
The Forum wishes to thank all agencies and the various volunteers from participating organisations for their contribution and dedication towards improved safety on the mountain.
A going concern for the TMSF is the recent incidents of sexual attacks which has occurred close to the University of Cape Town campus and the Forum trusts that the law enforcement agencies deployed will ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.
The public need to be vigilant of possible criminality and against the natural elements and its affects as we approach the changing of the seasons and earlier sunsets.
The various law enforcement agencies will maintain a presence on the mountain throughout the year. We do not have unlimited resources and it remains important for public users of the mountain to prioritise their own safety.
We urge you, the public, to support law enforcement entities in their efforts to maintain a safe environment on the Mountain. We invite any individual or interest group to contact the Table Mountain Safety Forum to find out how we can all become mountain safety ambassadors.
We urge the public to report any incident on the Mountain to the authorities – call 021 480 7700 (from a cell phone) or 107 (from a landline).
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 079 694 1113
Regional Communications Manager SANParks
Cell: 072 627 3910
Director Petrus Roberts
City of Cape Town Policing and Enforcement
Cell: 079 522 1701
Table Mountain Safety Forum Chairperson
Cell: 082 560 0684