On the 23rd of March SANParks – Table Mountain National Park and their contractor NCC Wildfires conducted an ecological burn in middle Tokai. This was done as fynbos areas need to burned in order to be restored and conserved.
Further update provided as of 24th March. SANParks – Table Mountain National Park advises that pockets of unburnt vegetation, which failed to burn yesterday, will be burnt today. There will be approximately 30 minutes worth of burning.
This morning on 11 March, there was a demonstration against the “monetization” of the Covid vaccine held outside the Johnson & Johnson building on the Main Road. The banners and posters indicated a “People’s campaign” with messages such as “no patent profiteering in a pandemic” and “no Covid monopolies”.
Recreational users of the Mother City’s most famous landmark have demanded answers to questions about a deluge of surplus revenue that has left the reserve, apparently buckling under a mountain of problems.
Proclaimed in 1998 to conserve the iconic fynbos biome, and run by government entity SANParks (South African National Parks), Table Mountain National Park in 2018/19 earned about R308-million. Key expense items – says environment minister Barbara Creecy’s November 2019 reply to a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance – were only R123-million, including R90-million in operation costs.
So, where are the rest of the golden goose’s eggs being fried?
Those eggs – worth a surplus of about R185-million in 2018/19 – could have been directly reinvested into the park, but local campaigners say they have seen scant evidence of that.
“There is an awful lot of money generated by this park that is not coming back into it,” argues Nicky Schmidt, a campaigner with a track record of winning against SANParks in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
And, while “an awful lot of money” might have watered other pastures, an even bulkier amount than 2018/19’s surplus has been spent through procurement irregularities within SANParks, the national parks entity charged with managing 20 parks throughout the country – including the Cape Peninsula’s stunning Table Mountain chain.
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.