Table Mountain patrols stepped up

2011-07-01 20:05

Cape Town - Extra security measures are being put in place following a spate of muggings on Table Mountain, Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato announced on Friday.

"Following my meeting yesterday [Thursday] with law enforcement, SANParks and the chairperson of the Table Mountain Forum [TMF], I am satisfied that all parties are committed to leaving no stone unturned to increase safety on Table Mountain," he said in a statement.

With 25 new field rangers reporting for duty with Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) on Friday, South Africa National Parks (SANParks) had stepped up patrols in areas identified as crime hotspots on the mountain chain, he said.

Four more rangers would also take up their posts shortly with more expected to be employed as from August following a stringent interview process and fitness assessment.

With the assistance of the SA Police Service and Metro Police, the mountain chain, stretching from Signal Hill to Constantia Neck, was being patrolled 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Many problems remained, not the least of which was the fact that the area referred to as "the mountain" stretched over a vast 6 500ha .

All efforts should therefore be focused on strategic planning and strong partnerships to boost resources, Plato said.

He said that the safety partners on the forum played a crucial role in being "additional eyes and ears" on the ground to assist law enforcement agencies.

The safety partners were civil society organisations and included Greenpoint and Oranjekloof City Improvement District, Pedal Power, Tamboerskloof Neighbourhood Watch, Table Mountain Safety Action Group, Mountain Club of South Africa, and the Paragliding Association.

No guarantees

"I've also received a variety of proposals from private individuals and companies relating to concepts and the use of specialised technology to make our mountain safer and will be meeting with them in due course to assess the feasibility of these proposals," said Plato.

"I believe that this government's 'whole of society approach' is the only way to make our mountain safer and because safety is everyone's responsibility I urge the public to also do their bit to aid our efforts."

Mountain users were encouraged to take heed of safety advice, not only in terms of crime, but also to avoid other incidents like injuries and getting lost.

Between January and now, TMNP rangers and Metro Search and Rescue had aided in 41 rescues with many incidents taking place due to people underestimating the mountain and neglecting to properly plan routes and/or be properly equipped for activities.

"Our efforts, through the TMF to increase safety on the mountain chain, are working."

Altogether 30 people had been apprehended on the mountain this year by TMNP rangers and were handed over to SAPS.

"While there are never guarantees that crime will not happen, we will continue to increase the forum's effectiveness to prevent incidents from happening and actions to address them swiftly when they do," Plato said.

  • 2WhiteStars - 2011-07-01 21:05

    There is only one solution for muggers on the mountain. You get a couple of your buddies together, all carrying concealed guns. Then you split up on the pathways on the mountain at insanely stupid, dangerous, hours of the day. When you see some oke coming for you, you unpack your weapon and shoot the f@@@## in the heart. And then you do the same thing to his accomplice/s. Even if you have to shoot them in the back. And then you casually walk away. And I promise you, this problem will go away quite quickly. The mountain rangers are never going to solve the problem. These criminals just get released and do it all over again. Especially if their victims, traumatised, go back home to Europe or the US, and do not testify against them in court. These muggers will rape, or kill if given half a chance, so I say take them out - by force. That's the only way.

      debrakayestylist - 2011-07-02 00:32

      dude u r genius, i wanna put u in charge of the rhinos too!

      mark - 2011-07-02 07:29

      OK, let's stop talking about it and DO IT!!

      baasdingane - 2011-07-02 12:23

      2whitestars- are you the okie who shot your mates highjackers outside nandos a few months ago?

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-02 02:03

    And when you cannot even enjoy nature and the beautiful outdoors of the Cape - then things are beyond bad!! I hear so many negative posts to myself and families who have left SA......AND YOU WONDER WHY????? We do not even lock our doors here in NZ - call us traitors, whatever you want......but I will rather be classed a 'runner' and be able to walk my dogs at 10pm alone at night, walk through forests alone, sleep without burglar bars, ADT, panic buttons, AND fences.....yes, NO fences here - straight from the road onto our garden and into our front door, which is always unlocked and in summer - OPEN! This is a very sad state of affairs for the beautiful Cape - how dare these trash spoil it for law abiding citizens who want to enjoy their stunning Country - Punish these scum to the fullest degree!! South African Government - you need to catch a wake up - ENOUGH ALREADY!!

      Expat - 2011-07-02 10:32

      That is what boggles the mind the most NZdreamer. SAfricans are always harping on about the beautiful weather but what's the point of having it and not being able to enjoy it without risking life and limb

      ex-pat - 2011-07-02 15:49

      Preee-cisely! We're ex-pats in the UK, luckily for us living on the edge of a small town, with the countryside through a gate into a field next to us. This means we also have no walls, bars, etc., etc. Yesterday I was gardening and could leave the garage, back door, and front door wide open, no matter where I was on the property.

      Jan - 2011-11-07 13:18

      @NZdreamer I know exactly what you mean! I moved to Barcelona, Spain and I am really happy with everything over here, safety, transport, medical systems, everything! I will also raise my children here one day mainly because of the safety. I will always love SA, but for now I only go and visit...

  • richard.paine - 2011-07-02 10:38

    I got mugged in Newlands Forest on Monday with a friend, the mountain is so quiet and deserted. The only ranger I saw was down at the parking lot, but he was helpful. I am only grateful that I didn't get my head smashed in like the guy who got mugged after me. It is sad to think that I cannot enjoy the mountain in peace without having to feel unsafe or carry a weapon with me. I don't think more rangers will help much though. That said, the one ranger that helped me was very nice and extremely helpful. The SAP officers arrived in 5 minutes and then climbed all the way to the spot we got mugged at. It's not like they aren't trying.

  • mark - 2011-07-02 14:03

    @ Expat: you forgot the extra line (to the fantastic weather one)that "oh, but we have domestics and you don't!"

      ex-pat - 2011-07-02 15:52

      Physical effort is not only good for the waistline, it's good for the soul as well. But not good for the joints, when you're getting old, like me. ;-) But I'd rather have sore joints and die of old age than be unlawfully killed before my time.

  • ruben.maistry - 2011-11-07 18:47

    We have heard this before, but alas the muggings continue.

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