Visitors to Table Mountain National Park will have to pay for activity permits

Table Mountain National Park announced the park’s draft management plan for the next 10 years . According to the draft plan, visitors to Table Mountain National Park (Cape Point, Boulders, Silvermine, Tokai and Oudekraal) will have to pay for activity permits from mountain-biking cyclists to dog-walkers, hang-gliders and sport climbing.

To walk up to two dogs a person needs a Level 1 activity permit, which costs R225. The permits, which are valid for a year, are not interchangeable between family members, so additional members need to sign up for a multi-level card, which cost R85 each.

Level 2 activities, such as hang-gliding, paragliding and sport climbing, will cost R350, while Level 3, which includes horse-riding, mountain biking and fishing, will set you back R460. Fishermen will also be required to have a separate fishing permit from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Capetalk’s John Maytham spoke to Paddy Gordon, Area Manager at the Table Mountain National Park, about the park’s permit.

We have scientists that give us inputs in terms of the damage done by the dog walkers compared to cyclist, horses and paragliders. We also try and compare the costs of other access issues to the mountain so that you don’t have a person that has a general wild card that gives you certain amount of access per day for any national park without a dog, without a horse and without a bicycle but paying more than a person coming into the National park for those activities. So one of the bases we started with was determining the costs if you pay for the wild card for yourself and what access it gives you and what that access can cost you per year…

Paddy Gordon

Gordon says that the calculations show that it actually costs 66 cents a day to walk a dog in the park. He says that the money goes into safety and security, alien plants clearing and fire management.

Cape Argus reported that 500-odd people commented on the park’s plan before public participation on the proposal closed on Saturday. They criticised the park for the high price of the permits.

Attorney Neil van de Spuy was one of those who commented on the draft plan. He was reported in the Cape Argus as saying that when the park was created there was a condition that it would not be permitted to charge entrance fees at any point within its boundaries, except where it had charged before the establishment of the park.


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