Table Mountain safety: SANParks Rangers speak out


Cape Town - Visitor and overall wildlife safety in the Cape Region's national parks, and Table Mountain National Park specifically, will be improved thanks to extensive new Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI) training, completed by 119 SANParks rangers from the Cape Region alone. 

The rangers completed backlog of Grade 5 EMI training along with 356 other rangers across all the 19 national parks in the parks division (not including Kruger National Park).

The 119 rangers from the Western Cape received their EMI certificates on Thursday morning, 12 November. 

The South African Wildlife College - situated in the Kruger National Park in Limpopo - sponsored and conducted the EMI training on site in the rangers' respective parks - Table Mountain National Park, West Coast National Park, Agulhas National Park, Bontebok National Park and Tankwa-Karoo National Park.

SEE PICS: Kruger officials receive specially built quad vehicles for rhino poaching patrol

The rangers acquired skills which will equip them with environmental law enforcement capacity, in the fight against mountain and environmental crime, as well as crimes against visitors in the parks. 

SANParks CE Fundisile Mketeni awarded the rangers their certificates saying it's high time SANParks' field rangers receive proper training for the dangerous line of work they choose to do.

Mketeni thanked the rangers for their willingness to protect SA's resources. "I'm proud of you for carrying the vision of SANParks. We appreciate your service to SANParks and the country, and for protecting our resources for our children." 

Fagan Goodheart, field ranger in the Cape Point sections of Table Mountain National Park, says he is thankful for the law enforcement skills he has acquired through the EMI training, as they face many dangers and serious criminal situations in their day-to-day work. 

Overall wildlife safety has become a major concern in all SANParks over the past years.

Although rhino poaching is the most critical concern in South Africa at the moment, other wildlife crimes - including the arson, abalone poaching and reptile smuggling - need combating. 

READ: 5 Wildlife poaching facts that will leave you cold

In Table Mountain National Park, crimes against visitors have become a serious concern over the past two years. 

In the latest incident, a Cape Town cyclist was beaten and threatened with a knife on Table Mountain on Sunday, 1 November. Goolam Hassan, 41, said the attack left him shaken and apprehensive of returning to the popular trails of the national park.

READ: Attackers stole my love of the mountain - cyclist

Table Mountain is the only of SA's national parks to have a dedicated visitor safety crew. This crew of 60 will now be assisted on a law enforcement level by the EMI graduates of the park, who say the training has given them the needed skills to deal with criminal activity professionally. 

A lot of emphasis is placed on the protection of South Africa's natural resources for future generations to come. Unathi Ngoko, field ranger in the Newlands section of Table Mountain National Park, says she hopes her new EMI training will help her leave a legacy of conservation. 

The now qualified EMI field rangers celebrated their achievement in #ProudlySA style at the event on Thursday morning. The dedicated SANParks choir set the tone for the celebrations... 

Share your travel experiences with us. You can email us at or connect with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Do you think South Africa needs tighter restrictions to combat the third wave?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, the situation is grim and needs serious measures
27% - 1131 votes
No, we cannot afford more lockdowns
34% - 1421 votes
Yes, but only in provinces where it is out of control
39% - 1622 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo