The City of Cape Town can confirm that a young male dispersing baboon from the Tokai troop was released near the Lewis Gay Dam on City-owned land earlier today, 15 February 2021.
The male baboon from the Tokai troop has been roaming the urban area and crossing the very busy M3 road on occasions over the past two weeks.
He was captured and returned to his natal Tokai troop on 6 February and 11 February 2021 respectively. However, he returned to the urban area on Saturday, 13 February 2021, and crossed the M3 again on Sunday, 14 February 2021.
In consultation with CapeNature and SANParks over the weekend, it was decided to capture and release the baboon in the South, where he will have the opportunity of joining either the Da Gama or Slangkop troops, or any of the other troops further south. The SPCA was also contacted.
Attempts to capture the baboon on Sunday were unsuccessful. NCC Environmental Services, who is contracted to manage the City’s Urban Baboon Programme, conducted the operation and the SPCA was also present.
The baboon was finally darted in Tokai this morning, 15 February 2021, and released near the Lewis Gay Dam on City-owned land. This move is in terms of the dispersing guidelines and supported by the best available scientific practice.
Baboon rangers will keep on monitoring the baboon as relocated baboons do not always integrate. The City further urges residents to please not follow this baboon and to allow him space so that he has the best chance of integrating.
The urban area with its busy roads, domestic animals, people and unhealthy food, is dangerous for baboons. It is in the interest of the safety of baboons and the public that baboons remain wild and in their natural habitat.
The growth in the baboon population, a decline in natural foraging areas, and competition within troops for male dominance, among others, often lead to fragmenting troops and dispersing males. This is the case all over the world, and is of concern when baboons move through urban areas.
The City kindly requests residents from neighbourhoods adjacent to mountainous areas to please store wheelie bins in a safe space; to enclose vegetable gardens and composting areas; and to not leave food out for pets to discourage opportunistic foraging.
Residents can phone the Baboon Hotline number 071 588 6540 for assistance.
The Silvermine Nature Reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is an important conservation area for indigenous fynbos vegetation. Entrance to the Reserve is at the top of Ou Kaapse Weg where a small fee is charged.
Parking is available for those who wish to spend a few hours walking, hiking or exploring the many mountain bike trails that the Reserve offers. Individual picnic sites are situated around the Silvermine Reservoir and these can be booked in advance.
Sandstone cave systems can also be found in the Reserve, and there are rock climbing routes on the Muizenberg side.
NEED TO KNOW
WHERE: Up Ou Kaapse Weg on the Tokai side of the mountain
WHEN:- Open daily between 07h00 to 18h00 during summer
TELEPHONE:- +27 (0)21 701-8692
EARTH FAIR MARKET
Visit Earth Fair Market and take a trip back to the good old days where food was simple and healthy and not packed with preservatives and hormones. Loose all the overly packaged and branded products and return to the simplicity and authenticity of the market. Shop like your great granny used to shop and form relationships of trust and friendship with the butcher and the baker.
Earth Fair Market is about the whole weekly shop; from the meat and fish, the bread and cheese, the fresh veggies, down to the olive oil, pasta and sweet treats. Earth Fair Market is dedicated to providing convenient access to ethical food producers and their products, whilst offering shoppers moments of magic in the process.
The Earth Fair Market is open two days a week so that you can stock up on your favorites and fresh foods. The Wednesday ‘night markets’ offer a great opportunity to bring the kids for a relaxed shopping experience or to meet friends and family and enjoy one of our delightful local on tap beers while you choose between butter chicken, sushi or other yummy supper options.
NEED TO KNOW
WHERE:- South Palms, Main Road, Kirstenhof / Tokai, Constantia Valley (same location as Builders Warehouse)
WHEN:- Every Saturday from 09h00 to 14h30, Every Wednesday from 14h00 to 20h00.
TELEPHONE:- +27 (0)84 220-3856
The Pollsmoor Mess is a delightfully unusual attraction in the heart of the Mother City, Cape Town, in the Western Cape. Pollsmoor Prison is a maximum security prison that aims to rehabilitate convicted criminals. As one of their associated initiatives, the Pollsmoor Mess was started up.
This canteen serves hearty, South African favorites for the public to enjoy. The menu includes traditional hits like fish and chips, chicken curry, burgers and steaks. All of the meals are cooked by inmates or prison cooks, and served by inmates that want to participate and learn more about the service industry. This not only provides a unique experience for visitors, but benefits the inmates enormously; equipping them for a happier, more successful future.
Their orange prison uniforms are the only clue to the fact that they are inmates, as they work hard to provide a warm, inviting, professional ambience. Waiters may not accept tips.
Pollsmoor prison is situated in the pretty, leafy suburb of Tokai and is close to the newly-revamped Blue Route Shopping Mall, as well as a host of natural and tourist attractions.
NEED TO KNOW
WHERE:- Pollsmoor Prison Restaurant, Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town
TELEPHONE:- + 27 (0)21 700-1270
TOKAI FOREST MARKET
The Tokai Forest in Cape Town is a lush green escape from the city buzz, situated only minutes from major malls and residential suburbs. Tall trees tower over you as you explore the stalls and meet the folk behind the exciting range of products here, in part of the spectacular and extensive Table Mountain National Park. Because this forest is so popular amongst cyclists, runners, families and friends wanting to enjoy the clear, fresh air and the mottled bark of almost 300 different tree species, the Tokai Forest Market is also a hub of activity amongst young and old alike.
Situated at the corner of Orpen Road and Spaanchemat River Road, the market is home to an array of stalls. The food stalls are particularly inviting, and include a number of organic ingredients and dishes, plenty of fresh hot coffee, and sweet treats galore. In addition, visitors can look forward to perusing book stalls, craft-centred treasure troves, mini nurseries, and clothing traders. Children are always enticed to the large sand pit and the jungle gym, which are within view for the folks sipping on a hot cuppa while keeping a watchful eye on their little ones.
The Tokai Forest Market is open every Sunday from 09h00 to 14h00, and invites visitors to bask in the warm sunshine and make the most of a lazy Sunday. Whether you want to shop, eat or simply unwind, this market offers you the ideal opportunity to do just that.
Nearby attractions include the recently revamped Blue Route Mall, as well as the wine farms of Constantia. Kalk Bay is about 20 minutes’ drive from the market, while the City Bowl is between 25 and 35 minutes away.
NEED TO KNOW
WHERE:- Corner of Orpen and Spaanchemat River Roads, Tokai, Constantia Valley
WHEN:- Saturdays from 09h00 to 14h00. Sundays from 10h00 to 15h00.
TELEPHONE:- +27 (0)79 429-1454
CHRIS NIXON BIKE PARK
Anyone with a bike in the southern suburbs of Cape Town has dropped in at least once to experience Chris Nixon’s sculpted and compacted pump track, jumps and drops at Constantia Uitsig wine estate, close to the Tokai Forest.
Constantia Uitsig was once a part of Simon van der Stel’s Groot Constantia. To find the bike park drive past the original Cape Dutch homestead that houses a restaurant (the veranda, with clear views out over the vineyards, is rather inviting). It used to be the River Café, but is now known as the Open Door Restaurant (wine tasting has moved across the driveway).
The park is the perfect training venue for all levels and age groups. Biking is about getting out and having fun for the whole family, which is what a bike park like this one offers – a place where little, and big, kids can defy gravity, kick up dust and speed along a series of tracks.
The park is still under development with new track expansions on the way. You can follow Chris Nixon’s Facebook page to keep up-to-date with details, and for photographs of riders in action.
Also available is a bike shop, bike hire, bike share and Chris Nixon, 2013 MTB Masters World Champion, offers skills coaching.
NEED TO KNOW
WHERE: – Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate on Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia
HOW MUCH:- Prices on request.
TELEPHONE:- +27 (0)84 777-7802
ABOUT NORVAL FOUNDATION
Celebrate the art and culture of the 20th and 21st centuries when you visit the Norval Foundation, which is particularly nearby for those staying in Cape Town southern suburbs. The Norval Foundation, is situated opposite the Table Mountain National Park in Steenberg, and is perfectly perched to combine a deep love for nature with an appreciation for the power of art. Here, visual art from the 1900’s and 2000’s that has been created in South Africa and other countries is exhibited for locals and visitors to enjoy.
The Norval Foundation has various elements that make it extra-special. These include:
A SCULPTURE GARDEN
Stunning sculptures by artists from all over the African continent await visitors to Norval. These sculptures are scattered through scenic landscaped gardens and in the untouched beauty of the Cape wetlands. Exploring the art isn’t just about appreciating the talent of one artist; it’s about enjoying that talent in the heart of a natural beauty beyond any artist’s imagination.
THE HOMESTEAD COLLECTION
It’s no wonder that this is one of the leading South African art exhibitions of the 1900’s, because it showcases modern and classic work in novel and intriguing ways. Some of the artists in this collection include Irma Stern, Alexis Preller, Trevor Makhoba, and Cecil Skotnes.
Even the eco-friendly design of the foundation’s building has taken the beauty and value of the surrounding fauna and flora into account. The solar plant on the roof and the grey-water purification system work together to reduce the environmental impact that the structure has. In addition, Norval has constructed a toad road, which enables the endangered leopard toad to cross to the other side of the Steenberg road without the threat of being run over.
There is also an outdoor amphitheatre, as well as a number of gallery spaces that can be made available for events or bespoke exhibitions. The Skotnes Restaurant is a stylish retreat where diners can enjoy cuisine that is world-class, with distinct South African influences. The Norval Foundation is only about 40 minutes from the V&A Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium, and Table Mountain.
NEED TO KNOW
WHERE:- Norval Foundation, 4 Steenberg Road, Steenberg Estate, Constantia Valley, 7945, Cape Town, South Africa
WHEN:- Monday, Thusday, Friday and Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00. Tuesday Closed. Wednesday from 08h00 to 18h00. Sunday from 10h00 to 20h00. TELEPHONE:- +27 (0)87 654-5900
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Cape Town – A new endangered plant species has been discovered in Tokai Park that has only been found six times before, at two localities.
The species is known as sedge, the Hidden Veldrush (Schoenus inconspicuus), which is listed as critically endangered.
Researchers from UCT first noticed the existence of the Hidden Veldrush plant in November last year. The plant is known from fewer than 10 plants on the planet.
Researcher Doug Euston-Brown said she found one plant during a species survey last year and showed it to another researcher. New species were discussed between them and this unique species was interesting material. On further searching, a total of three species were found.
The species closely resembles a common grass, the Cape Wire Grass (Tenaxia stricta). The leaf sheath of the two species is what differentiates them. The Hidden Veldrush also prefers deep and dry sands.
MOVING HOMES, PREMISES OR BUSINESSES: REGULATIONS ADAPTED Thursday, 14 May 2020
Regulations published this afternoon by virtue of Government Gazette 43320 have made the movement of persons and businesses easier than the previous regulations allowed for during Level 4.
Moving across provincial, metropolitan, and district boundaries is now allowed, once-off, no matter when the lease agreement or transfer of property took place. In addition, the window period for the move until 7 June, has been dropped. Domestic abuse victims have also been included in the new regulations.
Those who want to move must travel with the relevant documents, including a permit, lease agreements (indicating the date of expiry of the old lease or the date of commencement of the new lease); proof of purchase of residence and occupation date, including transfer documents for a new property; a domestic violence order, or proof of change or new occupation of business premises.
According to the latest CRRA press release on the Greenbelt pathways in Constantia during stage 4 Lockdown, the Constantia greenbelts are officially open to the public again thanks to a challenge by the CRRA regarding conflicting statements from Mayor Dan Plato and local Ward Councillor.
In a media statement on 30th April, the Mayor stated that various specific walkways/promenades were opened including ‘all other publicly accessible boardwalks or pathways’. The latter would presumably include pathways through the greenbelts.
On 1st May Cllr Liz Brunette sent out an email stating that: “Unfortunately we are not allowed to use the public parks, public open spaces, greenbelts and recreational facilities during Alert Level 4.
The National Government’s Covid-19 Regulations specify that residents may not use the City’s public parks and recreational facilities to walk, run or cycle. Please note that ‘public parks’ include public open spaces and greenbelts used by the public.”
This was obviously in conflict with the Mayor’s statement.
The CRRA wrote to Cllr Brunette and Mayco member for Transport, Ald. Felicity Purchase seeking clarity.
The City obtained legal opinion which supported the opening of the greenbelts and public walkways, lanes etc.
Here’s what property buyers need to know about the way forward after SA’s lockdown.
Questions around the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the residential property sector have been rife – and with good reason as property is a sector that contributes significantly to the GDP. More than that, property is inextricably linked to accommodation and shelter, one of our most fundamental needs. Both buyers and sellers are concerned about whether they will be able to transact in the coming months, while buyers in particular are asking questions about the stance banks are likely to take around lending money for home loans.
It’s useful to consider the broader context, before addressing the question of home loans specifically. Even before Covid-19 and lockdown the market conditions were that of a buyer’s market in which supply outweighs demand, giving buyers both more options and more room for price negotiation. All conditions suggest that a buyer’s market is likely to remain the status quo, which helps those looking to buy. The lower interest rate – the lowest it’s been in 47 years – also goes a long way in making property investments more affordable and more attractive to potential buyers. Add the fact that the threshold on transfer duty was raised to R1 million earlier this year and that the price of property in general is likely to come down somewhat as a result of the overall strain on the economy. All of this makes the outlook rather positive for those who can afford to buy at this time.
Affordability is king
While always important, affordability is set to be an even more pertinent consideration going forward and buyers are therefore advised to keep all accounts in good standing and save as much as possible for a deposit.
At this stage, it is unknown exactly how banks will respond to home loan applications after lockdown, but there is a strong likelihood that it will be with caution and that the qualifying criteria will be more stringent.
While the economic recovery from lockdown is likely to be slow, it’s important that the banks continue lending money in a responsible manner as a means of stimulating the property sector. Whatever the economic situation, people still need accommodation, which means there will be buyers and sellers looking to finance these transactions.
Having said that, it seems unlikely that banks will grant 100% home loans as readily as in the past and, because the cost of funding loans will be more expensive, this could potentially also result in lower interest rate concessions than we have seen in recent months. Furthermore, banks may potentially re-price their future offers, as well as re-assess approvals in cases where the applicant’s circumstances have changed, such as when someone’s salary is reduced owing to business slowing down.
In the coming months, we’ll see a situation where buyers are in a very favourable position to purchase property but, with lending criteria set to be more stringent, it’s a good idea to work with a bond originator who has the experience and expertise to help ensure buyers get the best deal possible. At BetterBond, for example, consultants are expertly versed in the requirements of the various banks and what their different home loan products offer, which means we can easily tailor an individual application such that it has the very best chance of being approved and thus increasing the likelihood of obtaining the home loan.
Excerpts from the latest FNB’s Residential Property Barometer for March 2020.
The FNB House Price Index (HPI) showed that house price appreciation slowed to 2.8% y/y in March, the lowest print since May 2011 (i.e. in close to 9 years). Importantly, the HPI is based on FNB’s mortgage approvals and mainly covers the period before South Africa went into lockdown on 27 March 2020. As such, the impact of the lockdown on volumes and prices is yet to reflect in the data.
FNB Market Strength Index (a composite index that gauges demand and supply strength, collected from a database of property valuers) has, since the beginning of this year, revealed a slowing trend in supply, and a deeper decline in demand (and thus reversing some of the 2H19 gains made).
This is on the back of heightened uncertainty over job security and souring sentiment due to a material deterioration in the economic outlook.
Disaggregation of the data by price segments shows that, on balance, the higher end market remains in excess supply, while the bottom end is still in structural supply-deficit. We expect these dynamics to play a crucial role in determining house price paths this year.
We expect mass job losses and heightened uncertainty to result in a sharp drop in transaction volumes, as buyers delay their purchasing decisions.
Preliminary deeds data shows that market volumes have declined by an estimated 40% y/y.
Interestingly, however, search engine data shows a rebound in web traffic to property portals in SA since lockdown (this is also a worldwide phenomenon).
While too early to definitively draw conclusions, this could be an early indication of burgeoning bargain hunting by investor buyers and/or pent-up demand from first-time buyers looking to capitalise on potential distressed selling.
Could we expect pent-up demand post Covid-19?
Empirical evidence suggests that pandemics tend to have a sharp but short-lived impact on property markets and that volumes tend to suffer more than prices. Market reports in developed countries, such as the US and UK, suggest that Covid-19 will have a similar impact – a short-term decline in transaction volumes (and prices) and a swift rebound.
Among key distinctions between SA and these countries is the divergent labour market trends prior to the Covid-19 shock. Robust employment growth in these countries built a strong demand base, which resulted in stock shortages and thus a surge in house prices.
Thus, a sudden drop in house prices could unleash pent-up demand from first-time buyers and investor buyers (buy-to-let purchases). The historically low interest rates in the developed countries (close to 0% versus 4.25% repo rate in SA) will only galvanise this demand, and thus facilitate a swift rebound in prices.
Unfortunately, conditions are not as favourable in SA. Notwithstanding prospects for further interest rates reduction, the uninspiring employment outlook effectively limits any prospects for such pent-up demand in SA.
What lies ahead?
We expect Covid-19 to have a sharp but short-lived impact on SA’s housing market. We expect that transaction volumes will, in the short term, take a bigger hit relative to prices. In contrast to international housing markets, however, the overall recovery in SA will likely be drawn out due to pre-existing weakness in consumer fundamentals.
While aggressive cuts in interest rates, and possibly a reduction in house prices, will eventually support purchasing activity, in the short term this will likely be outweighed by heightened uncertainty and second-round effects on the labour market.
In the end, the magnitude and endurance of this weakness will depend primarily on a rebound in the broader economy, sustained liquidity in the property market and material improvement in sentiment. The impact could linger for longer if liquidity dries up and lending standards tighten a tad more than we expect. We will keep a close eye on developments and revise our forecasts as more data becomes available.
As we go into lockdown in South Africa (and Ireland where I am) I thought to post some thoughts.
These are trying times for us all. Many of us will go through similar cycles of fear for our own well-being, and for our family; concerns for our jobs or income, and worry about how the financial markets will affect economies and ultimately impact us.
As we should all know by now being in lockdown and adhering to it is vital to “flatten the curve”, to reduce and delay the peak of the epidemic and protect healthcare capacity. The majority of us, if we catch this virus, will get through it with slight to moderate symptoms. However, we all need to play our part by staying home to ensure that the more vulnerable in our society – the elderly, those with certain pre-existing health conditions, our healthcare workers, and the poverty-stricken – are shielded from this virus.
To be frank this will be a period of great adjustment and it will test us and our relationships. It is unlikely that South Africa will only be under lockdown for only 21 days if China, Italy, New York and Spain’s lockdowns are anything to go by. This virus will define a generation, if not a lifetime.
It’s our choice, though, how we let this define us. A chance to reflect, to take stock; to reconnect with ourselves… to rest and recuperate. This will offer us an opportunity to be more mindful; of ourselves, our choices, our bodies, our minds, our family and loved ones, our friends and neighbours and colleagues; our communities and our environment. To evaluate our ultimate impact; are we the people we always wanted to be?
Maybe our lockdown will be a chance for us to catch our breath too. Let us achieve our own clarity during this period of introspection. A time to practise our gratitude, our faith, our humanity… to confront our demons. To listen, to learn, to teach; for parents overwhelmed with children at home, let this be a teachable lesson and lead by example. Show the minds of tomorrow how to deal with adversity, with grace and fortitude.
The universe has a way of teaching us a lesson over and over again until we learn it. This time of healing can also be a time of growth. When we emerge from this on the other side, we will all be forever changed but let that change be for the better. God knows we will all make a huge investment in that change!