Capetonians have a habit of taking the city for granted.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been out for yet another drink with friends during which we lament the fact that, despite living in close proximity to wine farms, rolling beaches and Table Mountain, we don’t take advantage of these things often – or at all.
Summer is upon us, and while the sun is out, it’s the perfect opportunity to be better, and experience more of what the city has to offer.
I’m not a big hiker (runner, mover…) so trekking up Lion’s Head (or ‘Laan’s Head’ as the Jozi boets call it) is probably not going to happen. That’s not going to stop me from taking advantage of the mountain and other spots, though.
And I won’t be alone on my mission to visit Table Mountain National Park. In fact, the park, which encompasses Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Silvermine, Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope is so popular that over the latest financial year (April 2018 to March 2019), it generated some serious cash.
HeraldLIVE has the figures:
Table Mountain National Park collected an annual income of more than R307 million in the latest financial year.
This is almost three times what it costs South African National Parks (SANParks) to operate facilities at Cape Town’s prized attraction.
According to environment, forestry and fisheries minister Barbara Creecy – in response to parliamentary questions from members of the Democratic Alliance – most of the money came from fees to access Cape Point and Boulders Beach, as well as concession fees for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company.
Creecy says it costs roughly R90 million to run the park, about R18 million to finance its infrastructure programme, and about R14,7 million to pay for the expanded public works programme, so that’s a significant profit.
A fair amount of cash has also gone into a perimeter firebreak network, designed to help prevent fires from getting out of hand on the mountain.
“Highly trained and well equipped firefighting crews that specialise in wildfire management are available. A myriad of aerial and ground firefighting resources are available if necessary,” added Creecy.
Excellent news for anyone who has ever lived in the line of fire, so to speak.
Back to how you can enjoy the mountain without expending too much energy. As mentioned earlier, the Cableway is a big earner for SANParks.
It’s also a great way to see the mountain and the city below.
Over the festive season, the Cableway is running a sunset special offering locals the chance to buy their tickets to the top of Table Mountain for half the price – R150 for adults and R75 for children. Just check the dates here, as the special does shut down over New Year’s.
In addition, if you have a birthday coming up, you can ride the Cableway for free. Find those details here.
All you have to do to take advantage of these specials is take your South African ID along when buying tickets. If you’re shopping online, simply type in your ID number and the ID numbers of the people joining you.
The best part is that you get to enjoy that sunset with the knowledge that your cash is going towards sustaining and maintaining all the natural beauty that Cape Town has to offer.
You know, you really should get out more.
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