Time to make tough decisions
Years ago, on a municipal visit to Table Mountain, the officials asked, if Councillor’s in attendance would consider allowing the mountain authority to charge an entry fee to access the mountain.
At that time, I was undecided and considered the approach, draconian and unnecessary.
Sometime after that visit and many fires and muggings later, I am no longer undecided.
I accept that cordoning off the mountain is necessary to stem the tide of crime that occurs on the mountain. The awful fire on the 18 and 19th April, confirmed that the mountain requires protection.
Since defending the mountain from some humans is good judgment, vast resources are required. This suggests that, instead of adding the burden onto the local ratepayer, an entry fee is logical.
Citizens, must make tough decisions that may seem harsh but vital. We cannot allow a few to terrify so many. The excuse that they are homeless or whatever, cannot justify burning our mountain.
An entry fee would allow access to the mountain and protect everyone. Citizens could enter and exit at specific points where searches can be initiated to ensure nobody has a means to make fire or has a weapon. A day pass can entitle the user access to certain areas. This would give authorities an idea where people should be active. When unauthorized persons are seen in limited areas, a patrol unit can be dispatched to investigate. This would prevent the team from searching the entire mountain.
It is unlikely that criminals would follow the proper process as camera’s could be at entry and exit points. If a person does not have a day pass or is not on camera footage of the mountain authority, that person’s presence is disputed. This info can be uploaded instantly to the required authorities.
The recent fires have upset our natural fauna and flora and caused vast damage to historic buildings at and around UCT. Prevention is better than cure. An investigation is vital but basically a reaction as the damage is done. Holding anyone liable has limited value. To protect our natural environment for future generations we must restrict those who are destructive amidst our current generation.
We could talk about the merits and demerits of the entry fee for another decade and watch the mountain continue to burn because a few idiots were deliberate or irresponsible.
In the words of the wise, sometimes decisive leadership is required, time is running out.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress