Pine tree felling underway in lower Tokai forest

CapeTalk listeners have been calling and emailing The John Maytham show the past few days complaining that the pine trees in the lower Tokai forest are being cut down, denuding the area of any trees and shade. These listeners are adamant that the agreed management framework of the table Mountain national park is being ignored.

Gavin Bell, Area Manager for SanParks, joins John Maytham on the line, and he confirmed that MTO Forestry have commenced felling.

MTO is a commercial plantation and they purchased those pines from the Department of Forestry, and they are harvesting those plantations in terms of the conditions or the lease.

Gavin Bell, Area Manager SanParks

SanParks are assigned the lease and so work together with MTO Forestry on the felling schedule plans.

They have a schedule for clearing, and the fires accelerated clearing. They started in the upper Tokai areas...they are ahead of schedule and are now moving into the rest of Tokai and Cecelia forest to complete their harvesting schedule.

Gavin Bell, Area Manager SanParks

John Maytham quoted from emails where listeners say that TMO Forestry, when asked, said they are felling according to the TMNP schedule.

But Bell says it is according to schedule contracts within the lease. he also reminded listeners of an interview he did in May on CapeTalk, where he said felling may start within 6 - 12 months. But because the company is ahead of schedule this has been brought forward by a few months.

He cites operational challenges at MTO Forestry as part of the reason for accelerated clearing.

He disagrees that TMNP is driving this as a deliberate attempt to move away from commitments to the community and says there was proper engagement.

Pines have always been coming down there for years, and years and years. For over one hundred years the pines have been sold....and it is public knowledge.

Gavin Bell, Area Manager SanParks

He insists that the TMNP management framework has been no different this year to any other year. But added, it is up for reveiw next year.

With regard to lack of shade in the areas, Bell says there are alternatives along the green belt, and numerous other shaded parks in the area.

In addition, SanParks says it intends to make the Arboretum safer and also plans to erect shade structures and viewing platforms.

Listen to the full conversation below:

Listeners call in to respond to Sanparks on Tokai tree felling:

Read More
John Maytham's books: Russian murders to a Cameroonian immigrant in the USA

John Maytham's books: Russian murders to a Cameroonian immigrant in the USA

John's weekly reviews from a murder mystery in Russia, the collapse of the Soviet Union and a Cameroonian immigrant living in USA.

LISTEN: Vlogger takes a stab at what different Mzantsi lingos sound like

LISTEN: Vlogger takes a stab at what different Mzantsi lingos sound like

Ta Fire's (Siyabulelo Deli) satirical vlog takes a cheeky jibe at what 'Sefrican' languages sound like...and it is hilarious.

Mom of baby saved by seat-belt speaks of her joy

Mom of baby saved by seat-belt speaks of her joy

A three car pile-up on the R304 on Sunday afternoon left six injured and three cars written off, but a baby was saved by her seatbelt.

Billions of cubic metres of water in Table Mountain Group Aquifer

Billions of cubic metres of water in Table Mountain Group Aquifer

Cape Town needs to find solutions to the water crisis facing the city - and the aquifer may well be the best option.

Rondebosch High boys use K-word in freestyle prose

Rondebosch High boys use K-word in freestyle prose

Voice notes from Rondebosch Boys' High Whatsapp group have gone viral - with N-word and K-word used during a music session.

SANParks explains the felling of the Tokai plantation

SANParks explains the felling of the Tokai plantation

The felling of trees in parts of what is known as Tokai Forest has left some Capetonians in a tizz. SANParks answers questions.

Popular articles
'People are in pain! They want to see AB play Test Cricket!' - Neil Manthorp

'People are in pain! They want to see AB play Test Cricket!' - Neil Manthorp

John Maytham interviews famed cricket correspondent Neil Manthorp.

Culprits spotted deliberately starting fires in the Cape

Culprits spotted deliberately starting fires in the Cape

Chief Fire Officer at Overberg District Municipality says arson is a problem they are all too familiar with.

Exasperated listener (and Kuga owner) recounts shocking service from Ford

Exasperated listener (and Kuga owner) recounts shocking service from Ford

It’s getting worse and worse for Ford, as this report of shocking service shows. John Maytham interviews a frustrated listener.