SANParks gets a key contributor

2019-04-30 06:00
More than 100 members of the Take Back Our Mountains movement raise awareness of the safety issues that face hikers, cyclists and runners.

More than 100 members of the Take Back Our Mountains movement raise awareness of the safety issues that face hikers, cyclists and runners.

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Founder of the Take Back Our Mountains (TBOM) movement, Taahir Osman, has established a fitting partnership with South African National Parks (SANParks) to improve safety conditions for hikers, runners and everyone else who visits the mountains.

Osman is known for the work he does to make the mountains a safer place through the TBOM initiative – a tenacious response to several violent attacks that have taken place in recreational spaces that are open for the public to enjoy (‘Hike in groups for safety,’ People’s Post, 5 March).

He says the incident that pushed him to launch the initiative occurred in January 2018 where his friends and fellow club members of Hikers Paradise Adventure Club were attacked during a hike. While he was not part of the group that was targeted that day, it encouraged him to want to make hiking areas safer for all.

SANParks has now recognised Osman’s work in the community and has identified him as a key contributor.

Babalwa Dlangamandla, SANParks public relations officer for the Cape region, explains: “SANParks values contributions from groups like Take Back Our Mountains or organisations that have the best interest of the park. SANParks appreciates groups and other interested stakeholders for the support of conservation and heritage management, for the long term sustainability of the parks, and benefit of South Africans.”

Dlangamandla continues: “Taahir is a valuable stakeholder at SANParks because he conducts safe hike initiatives with his group on the Peninsula.

“SANParks, with its partners, is working hard to improve safety of visitors while hiking. SANParks will continue to engage with him on safe hike initiatives.”

Osman’s most recent contribution was a two-fold event that involved keeping the hikers safe and working together to clean up areas with high pollution. It took place on Sunday 28 April in Karbonkelberg.

“I’ve done hikes in the area before and I’ve seen all the litter around there. We identified people from Kalk Bay, Ocean View, Masiphumelele – high crime areas – to do the walk with us because they [criminals in these areas] won’t rob people they know.”

He encourages hiking clubs from across Cape Town and beyond to keep up-to-date on the crimes that have taken place on hiking trails by following Take Back Our Mountains on Facebook, join them on their hikes in order to increase the safety-in-numbers factor and to get in touch with him to discuss more safety solutions.

The walks currently see groups of 100 to 200 taking part to create safety for hikers, runners and cyclists.V Follow Take Back Our Mountains on Facebook for more information.

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