Cape Town baboon management: Creecy raises hopes of finding a solution as state bodies pass the buck | News24

  • The administration of stray baboons on the Cape Peninsula has been a vexing challenge for residents and the City of Cape Town.
  • Environmental Affairs Minister Barbara Creecy has added her affect in a bid to discover a decision.
  • The City lately introduced it was abandoning its baboon administration programme.

While Environment Minister Barbara Creecy final week raised hopes of clarifying duty for baboon administration within the City of Cape Town, the SA National Parks (SANParks) has been slammed for “perpetuating the confusion” about its statutory obligation to handle baboons within the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP).

The minister’s proposal for “round table talks” between the native, provincial and nationwide setting authorities – the metro, Cape Nature and SANParks – follows the City’s resolution to desert the city baboon administration programme.

It conceded “baboon management is not the mandate of the City”, regardless of having spent a number of hundreds of thousands to fund the controversial programme for 12 years.

READ | Cape Town metro to abandon baboon management programme: ‘Animal rights activists have won’

In a proper assertion on the Cape Town metro’s resolution to desert the baboon administration programme known as Animal Rights Activists have Won, the division’s Albi Modise stated: “Minister Creecy has tasked SANParks to work with Cape Nature and the City of Cape Town to convene a round table on baboon management and work with civil society.                

“The problem of baboons within the Cape metropole is advanced and requires co-operation amongst stakeholders, not finger pointing.

“The purpose of the roundtable is to attempt to reintegrate a range of stakeholders who have been alienated by current baboon management practices.”

Responsibility for managing Chacma baboons on the city edges of the TMNP has lengthy been disputed by the statutory environmental authorities. The dispute centres round duty for Chacma baboons which depart the TMNP into residential areas on the city edge.

“SANParks has always acknowledged its responsibility in managing baboons in Table Mountain National Park. By law, when animals leave a national park, they are the responsibility of a provincial entity or of the landowner on whose land they traverse,” stated Modise.

But this assertion just isn’t going unchallenged.

ALSO READ | Jane Goodall backs Betty’s Bay group’s fight against council ‘paint balling, euthanising’ baboons

“Absolute nonsense,” retorted lawyer Naude Visser, who acts for animal activist Ryno Engelbrecht.

In 2020, Engelbrecht compelled the City to return the well-loved baboon Kataza to his troop in Kommetjie

The technique on buffer zones for nationwide parks, promulgated in 2012 by then-environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa, explicitly said “any animal escaping from a national park into buffer zone areas other than adjacent conservation estate, the national park management authority must take all steps reasonably necessary to capture the animal; or deal with the animal so that the public interest is best served and any danger posed by such animal is averted or minimised”.

“As long as the ministry continues to deny SANParks’ responsibility for wild animals outside of the TMNP, they perpetuate the so-called ‘confusion’ and the conflict between the local, provincial and national environment authorities – they’re perpetuating ‘confusion’ to avoid their statutory obligation.” stated Visser.

Modise didn’t specify what regulation makes “a provincial entity” answerable for baboons leaving the TMNP and Cape Nature has denied such duty.

In response to why Cape Nature had offered permits to the metro with “no mandate”, Zohra Parker stated “Cape Nature has no obligation to keep baboons out of urban areas and is not responsible for nuisance animals, or waste management; and also does not have any mandated obligation towards the health and safety of city residents. We obviously advise and support where we can”.

The DA’s Dave Bryant stated Naude was “spot on”.

“If an elephant leaves the boundaries of Kruger Park and enters a residential area it is ridiculous to suggest that would be the responsibility of an individual homeowner or the local municipality to capture and return the elephant.

“For SANParks to counsel that particular person owners should now take care of rogue baboons themselves may have harmful penalties for each animals and folks,” Bryant added.

Weeks ago, the City withdrew four rangers from Tokai and Constantia, claiming “contingency funding” was depleted.

The transfer prompted outrage from Constantia residents, as baboons moved into the realm inflicting injury to property and threatening residents and pets.

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