By cable car from city to Signal Hill?

2015-05-05 06:00

A funicular, tram or cableway could soon link the city centre to the noon day gun and Signal Hill if Sanparks has a say.

Such a “mechanical people mover” is on the cards in a management plan it has drafted to boost tourism.

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), managed by Sanparks, has released its draft management plan for the next ten years. The public is invited to comment on it.

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A large portion of the plan is dedicated to boosting tourism numbers, which in turn will fund conservation, heritage and constituency building.

This entails upgrading a range of existing tourist spots.

First on the list for an upgrade is Boulders Beach, which sees 650 000 annual visitors. Visits are growing by over 5% a year. The visitor facility will be redesigned to enhance visitor experience and visitor flow, the plan states. Other upgrades include the boardwalks, parking area and interpretive information.

A proposed upgrade of Cape Point may see infrastructure improvements to the roads, water pipeline and sewerage system, as well as the visitor centre.

The Rhodes memorial site may also see infrastructure upgrades. An investigation is underway to explore uses for the old zoo site there, which could serve as a “gateway” to the Groote Schuur estate and the park.

The Tokai Manor area is also in line for upgrades, according to the plan. It proposes developing the area into a “vibrant multi-purpose gateway to the park where the environmental, cultural and social significance of the area is celebrated through the restoration of [the Tokai Manor and surrounds]”.

An upgrade of the Signal Hill and Tafelberg roads interchange is needed, according to the plan, which sees 1.2 million visitors. This would tie into new developments in the Strand Street quarry.Something new

To improve access to Table Mountain, Sanparks is currently investigating implementing a “mechanical people mover” which will link the Strand Street quarry to the Lion Battery and Signal Hill. This could lead to a range of visitor facilities at the noon day gun and Signal Hill.

The management plan also proposes to make use of other quarries in the City Bowl for a variety of “low-volume multi-use events”.

Silvermine is also set for development, with the establishment of a picnic area on the southern side of Silvermine Dam as well as re-use of the Groot Silvermine Homestead as a visitor site linked to Peers Cave and the Sunbird Education Centre.

The Silvermine Source-to-Sea project will be implemented to rehabilitate the river systems and promote recreational links between the urban environment and the park.

The plan also looks at waterways, with the idea of linking the diversity of the terrestrial environment with that of the ocean through the establishment of a “marine gateway to the Southern oceans”.

“The purpose of this gateway would be to promote the wonders of the ocean through a variety of marine-based research and marine enforcement,” the plan states.

A site for this gateway is still being identified.

The plan serves as a reference to the management and development of the Park in its current and envisaged future form.

The plan includes information on the background, biophysical context, desired state, management and programmes at strategic and operational levels.V

The full plan can be viewed on the Sanparks website. Public comment can be submitted until Saturday 9 May

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