Table Mountain Forum to Host Second Safe Mountain Day on Sunday
Media Statement by Dan Plato, Minister of Community Safety
A united stand through strong partnerships is the only way to make our mountain safer for all to enjoy.
The Table Mountain Forum (TMF) will this Sunday host the second Safe Mountain Day to showcase the resources that are being pooled, and how this is being done to strengthen patrols, observation and educational planning on the mountain chain.
The day is also an awareness initiative to encourage the public to play their part in increasing safety on the mountain, whilst enjoying the outdoors.
SAPS members from 14 police stations, the Metro Police and SANParks rangers will be out in full force on the mountain chain, stretching from Signal Hill to Constantia Neck, and will also be seen at access points like Rhodes Memorial, Tokai Forest, Kloofnek Road, Kirstenbosch and UCT.
In addition, volunteers, Community Police Forum members and Neighbourhood Watch members will take part, and TMF members representing the Table Mountain Safety Action Group, Greenpoint and Oranjekloof City Improvement District, the Pedal Power Association, Mountain Club of South Africa and the South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association will be out in numbers, enjoying their respective mountain activity of choice.
The Table Mountain Bikers has organised a mass ride on the day and about 100 mountain bikers will be making their way from the Kloofnek car park in front of the Table Mountain Visitor's Centre at 09:00 to the King's Blockhouse. The organisation has said that all cyclists, hikers and walkers are welcome to join.
Two-year-old German Shepherd, "Purdy", recently donated to Table Mountain National Park by the Pedal Power Association, will be out and about with her handler and the rest of the visitor safety dog unit. Weather permitting, a SAPS helicopter and the horse unit will also form part of the extensive patrol exercise.
Much work has been done already to rapidly dispatch information to the relevant authorities in the event of an incident on the mountain and to boost swift action. The initiatives of various roleplayers are also contributing greatly to the implementation of short-term and long-term strategies to improve the safety of mountain users.
On Wednesday, SANParks rangers caught two suspected muggers on Lion's Head and an identity parade is expected today to determine whether the pair can be linked to cases of robbery.
With an area extending over a quarter of the entire mountain range, some 6 500 hectares, we cannot guarantee that there won't be an incident, but the combined resources of those involved, when utilised correctly, do and will greatly bolster incident prevention strategies and response times.
The approach of TMF is also to ensure a united stand in that those enjoying a mountain activity, be it walking, jogging, mountain biking, para-gliding, sightseeing or picnicking, all make up additional "eyes and ears" on the mountain chain to increase mountain safety.
The SANParks emergency number is 0861 106 417 and the number for Cape Town SAPS is 021 467 8001/2.