The Western Cape government is to spend “millions” on making Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) safe for tourists and locals, says Economic Opportunities MEC, Alan Winde.
He told Tourism Update on Tuesday that his administration would enter into a new partnership for safety and security with SANParks and communities surrounding the park. He said the plan involved high-tech surveillance with drones and would be replicating the work of SANPark’s anti-rhino-poaching unit in the Kruger National Park. Winde said he would make an announcement on Friday (March 23) about new safety and security measures across the city, which would include new safety measures across TMNP. The announcement is to be made during the debate on his department’s 2018/19 budget in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.
Speaking at a Wesgro briefing in Cape Town earlier, he said a safety and security pilot project during the holiday season had successfully managed to reduce ATM fraud targeting business tourists from 45 hits a month – averaging R45 000 (€3 068) to only one case of ATM fraud in December. This was achieved through co-operation between banks, hotels, the City of Cape Town, SA Police Services and Metro Police. It also involved the deployment as tourist ambassadors of youths from disadvantaged communities.
Speaking at the same event, Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, commended the province for acting to increase safety and security of tourists, but said more could be done. He suggested that highly visible guards wearing branded clothing and with some medical training should patrol selected walking trails, so that tour operators could safely advise their clients to use those selected trails.
Safety in TMNP, which stretches over 25 000 hectares from Table Mountain to Cape Point, has become a concern for tourists and locals alike after two people died and a number were injured in a spate of muggings and knife attacks on hikers and mountain-bikers recently.