15 Jun 2011 Safe Mountain Day on 19 June
The Table Mountain Forum (TMF) will on Sunday 19 June host the first of a series of Safe Mountain Days aimed at increasing awareness around the safety plan for the mountain and encouraging the public to play their part in efforts to ensure that all enjoy what the world famous landmark has to offer, without the fear of falling victim to crime.
From 9 am to 12 noon members from SAPS, Metro Police, Law Enforcement and SANParks will be extensively patrolling the mountain, both on the ground and in the air, to show how integrated efforts can increase safety. The patrol operations will cover the most popular access points around the mountain chain including Rhodes Memorial, Tokai Forest, Kloofnek Road, Kirstenbosch, UCT and Signal Hill.
“Our partners include civil society organisations like Table Mountain Safety Action Group, Greenpoint and Oranjekloof City Improvement District, Pedal Power Association, Mountain Club of South Africa and the Paragliding Association are also on board and members will hopefully be out in their droves to enjoy their favourite mountain activities, whilst signifying the part they play in ensuring safety on and around the mountain. At 9am I will meet the members of the TMF at the Table Mountain National Park Visitor Centre (off Kloofnek) and members of the public are invited to join the groups on the day for a fun mountain activity whilst at the same time patrolling the area,” said Mr Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety.
“A core focus of this government is to increase safety, and promote the “whole of society” approach to fighting crime. To this end, my colleague Albert Fritz, the previous Minister of Community Safety, earlier this year constituted the TMF with representatives from the Department of Community Safety, law enforcement agencies, SANParks and a number of civil society formations, in the face of a series of attacks on and around the mountain chain,” Mr Plato said.
He continued: “Law enforcement agencies are tasked with increasing safety and fighting crime, but it is through partnerships with civil society formations and volunteers that they can do this effectively as partnerships bolster the existing safety plan with additional resources, new approaches and re-energised thinking.
“We can never guarantee that there will be no incidents, but we are working hard to ensure that in the event of an incident, information can be rapidly dispatched to the relevant authorities and that swift action can be taken to effect a rescue where necessary, or an arrest in the event of a crime being perpetrated.
“First prize would be to prevent any incidents, and as such, my advice is to not tackle the mountain on your own, but rather as part of a group. Also be vigilant and aware of your surroundings and make sure you are familiar with the Sanparks emergency number, 0861 106 417 in the event of something going wrong.
“Sunday’s event is the first of its kind. This is our mountain, so let’s make it safe, together.”
* Popular cycle routes include the approved routes in Deer Park (front of Table Mountain) below the tar road, the contour paths around Rhodes Memorial, and Tokai Forest. Cycling is not allowed in Newlands Forest, Cecilia Forest, Constantia Nek or the top of Table Mountain.