Rangers and residents slug it out over Noordhoek

2013-07-21 08:50

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Cape Town - Cape Town’s famous Noordhoek beach has turned into a battleground for warring packs of park rangers and dog walkers who have come to blows over a new permit system.

The government department that manages the beach has  appealed to residents to calm down and stop harassing its staff.

Matters reached boiling point when “activity permits” were introduced for people who want to walk dogs, ride horses, ride mountain bikes or go rock climbing with the park. The permit costs R175 and is valid for a year.

According to Merle Collins of SANParks, which manages the Table Mountain National Park: “A few (rangers) have been pushed, have had to dodge blows and one was actually attacked, almost strangled and even bitten,” reported the Sunday Times.

"Rangers are often threatened with their jobs, a few have been threatened with physical harm and a few have been told they will be found at home," Collins said.

Noordhoek beach, popular with dog-walkers and horse-riders, was incorporated into the national park 15 years ago.

Initial euphoria over the park has gradually given way to anger at management policies that have brought rangers into conflict with residents and municipal officials.


Read more on:    cape town  |  environment  |  animals

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