Cape Peninsula National Park: briefing


29 July 1998
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

29 July 1998

Documents attached:
Progress Report on the Cape Peninsula National Park: presentation

The Portfolio Committee were briefed on the Cape Peninsula National Park and the challenges facing it. The Park was gazetted on the 29 May, and the drawing up of a Management Plan is still in progress. Discussions with private landowners and local authorities whose land borders the Park are ongoing with regard to management cooperation.

The team from the Cape Peninsula National Park included Prof. Huntley, Mr. Brittan, Mr. Jackelman and Mr. Khangala. Prof. Huntley started the briefing, explaining the role of the Park's Steering Committee, and the terms of reference it was given. He then handed over to Mr. Brittan who went through some of the issues and processes the Park was undertaking (see Progress Report).

The committee was then invited to ask questions.

Mr. Le Roux (NP) referred to a comment Prof. Huntley had made regarding the diversity of the people in the steering committee, and asked whether the diversity was a problem.

Prof. Huntley replied that there were differences in the backgrounds, experiences and policy views of committee members. But these were differences of opinions that could be worked through, and that the committee tried to achieve consensus. He did not see it as an overwhelming problem.

Ms. Van Wyk (NP) noted the value of the floristic kingdom, and suggested that housing development along the coast was its biggest threat. She queried whether a broad plan to try and minimize this threat was in place. Mr Brittan replied that this was the area of Provincial planning and Cape Nature conservation, and that these organisations did have a team in place to plan for these issues.

Mr. Vilakazi (ANC) asked for examples of where there had been successful engagment with community-based organisations and NGOs. He asked whether the Park was creating new structures, or using existing community structures, and how the interaction was carried out. Mr. Khangala answered by saying that the Park was concerned about the gap as far as public involvement. The Park was therefore trying to go beyond existing structures. They had started with those who had existing environmental interest, and would then expand this base. The interaction was carried out through workshops, meetings and the creation of forums that could be represented with regard to the Park's activities.

Ms. Chalmers (ANC) asked how the Park managed the practicalities of a large area that contained so many fragmented units. She asked how it worked, for example how did people know they were in or out of the Park. Mr. Brittan replied that they were developing a signage system that would slowly be introduced at entrance points to the Park. He added that the key issue was around creating awareness of what to do, and what not to do, on the mountain. There would be some patrols in situations where they were needed. Similarly eco-guides would be trained to take people around the Park where required. In addition, the Park was having ongoing talks with local authorities and homeowners.

Ms. Van der Merwe (ANC) stated that she sympathized with the problem of having a fragmented area in implementing management, in areas such as fire management. She asked about the status of the draft development framework, and its status and future. Mr. Brittan first responded on the fire-fighting issue. The Park was putting out a tender for an additional fire-fighting helicopter, and is trying to put together a unified fire-fighting plan. He noted that the draft Development Plan for the Park was controversial, and that it aimed at stimulating people to look at what is happening on the peninsula. Three workshops are being held in the near future to clarify the draft plan. Comments on the plan were then due by the 21 August. The Park would subsequently send out a summary of comments, and the Park's response. The process from there was not fixed, and open to flexibility.

Ms. Van der Merwe asked what would happen after the Department's response to public comments. Mr. Brittan replied that they would then revise the Development Plan. The plan would need to be ratified by the local authorities, as that was one of the conditions placed on the agreement reached between the Park and the authorities. The Park committee would need to decide on whether it recommended approval to the Board.

Mr. September (ANC) said that he was impressed with the report, especially as it seemed efforts were being made to bring people on board. He asked about the bus that was taking people to Kirstenbosch, and whether it was working well. Prof. Huntley answered by saying that the bus was a Botanical Society project. The bus brought in approximately 20 - 30 000 schoolchildren to the gardens every year. Many of the children were placing their feet on the mountain for the first time. Seventeen schools were involved in an ongoing project, and these schools were working on greening their areas. The Park included a vision for an educational centre at the Orange Kloof area.

Another question queried whether the Park had the ability to manage the huge task, in respect of matters such as alien plants and pollution. Mr. Brittan responded that thanks to the GEF funding, there was enough money to at least get the problem under control. However, the people surrounding the Park will need to have an awareness of the Park's activities, and there would be a need for good planning.

Mr. Mokwena echoed the complimentary remarks of Mr. September. He added that he thought the problem the Park would face was legitimacy, and that the Park needed to get a mandate. He asked as to the locus standi of the Park and the committee, and how the economic empowerment plans were being affected. Prof. Huntley replied that the Park fell under that National Parks Act, and its legal status arose from the act. The Park committee was a guiding and steering committee appointed by the Minister to give the public an interface with the Park, and had no legal standing.

Mr. Brittan dealt with the economic empowerment question. He stated that the Park had trained trainers from the community. The trainers had then trained people in the communities on contracting, and the communities themselves decided on the distribution of the funds.

Ms. Chalmers asked whether the local authorities were being brought on board in terms of the Working for Water project, and whether the public was part of the negotiations on the agreements with the local Authorities on the land transfer. Mr. Britan answered that the agreements were not public processes at the request of the local authorities. The cooperation of the land owners and authorities in controlling alien invaders was on the agenda.

Dr. Benjamin (ANC) noted that there was some dissatisfaction with the nature of the consultation process. She asked at what level the public was being brought on board, and whether there was a free process of raising problems. Prof. Huntley answered that there was ongoing involvement with NGOs. There were two open meetings every month, in which 15 minutes were provided for people to raise problems. Mr. Brittan added that he understood that there was dissatisfaction, and that the process was not rigid. The three workshops to be held would have independent facilitators and Park's officials to answer queries.

Mr. De Wet stated that it was encouraging to see the funds allocated to the Park from the GEF, and asked whether funding from the GEF had been allocated to other provinces. Prof. Huntley answered that there were proposals for GEF money being made in other provinces, and that the GEF was a viable option for funding.



· The role of the Committee is to be the driving force for the new National Park in the Cape Peninsula within the general policy framework of the National Parks Board;

· To propose significant policies to the National Parks Board after wide public consultation;

· To monitor and advise the National Parks Board accordingly whether the integrated environmental management (IFM) procedures are followed on planning major infrastructural developments within the National Park or areas possibly affecting it,.

· To monitor the reporting process of the National Parks Board to the major interested and affected stakeholders on a regular basis;

· To recommend the appointment of advisory subsidiary committees; and

· To recommend a name for the new National Park after extensive public consultation


· Signing of agreements with Local Authorities

· Boulders (1st May)

· Proclamation (29th May)

· Integration of existing staff


· Working for Water R5 million


$5 million Table Mountain Fund

$227 000 Strategic Plan for Cape Florist Kingdom

$7.5 Cape Peninsula National Park

· French GEF $1 million


The context

Interested & affected parties


· Multiple audiences multiple approaches

· Gaps in "voices"

· When people can articulate for themselves both the direct and indirect benefits they derive from the existence of national parks, we will be able to measure our success


· Economic Empowerment

· Partnerships with CBOs & NGOs

· Creation of Community Forums

· NGO Forum

· Volunteer groups

· Cultural Heritage Management

· Public Processes


JULY 1998



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