South African National Parks (SANParks) Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Mabunda, announced today that SANParks will increase the number of (armed) rangers patrolling Table Mountain National Park by 50. Over the next three years efforts will be made to increase the number of additional rangers by a 100 in total. The impact of crime over the years in parts of the National Park has resulted in this decision. The rangers will be responsible for all matters related to the functions of rangers in National Parks including visitor safety, visitor rescue, anti-poaching, disaster management, and crime prevention in general.
SANParks has also decided to expand the number of dogs utilised in the Park as these have been shown to be an effective mechanism in security operations.
The recruitment process for the rangers will begin immediately. Rangers will be trained to the same level of the Kruger National Park rangers, with emphasis on safety, rescue and disaster management. It is envisaged that the first recruits will report for duty within the next three months.
Dr Mabunda also said that "SANParks is aiming at making a significant dent in the incidence of crime on Table Mountain. To achieve this SANParks will be increasing the visibility of rangers on the TMNP and will be providing the needed resources to ensure both an effective deterrent and a quick response to crime scenes".
He further said "We cannot allow the internationally iconic status of Table Mountain National Park to be negatively impacted by ongoing crime in this area. The economic implications for the Cape Town City and the country are significant, such that, together with our partners, we have to act decisively in dealing with this issue. At the end of the day the Table Mountain National Park is there for all, and we want both our domestic and international visitors to be able to enjoy the Park to its fullest without any fear". (src.: sanparks.org)