Setting the record straight on the Tokai and Cecilia Forestry Exit Strategy

Various sources, including the Constantiaberg Bulletin, have repeatedly stated that the State chose to exit from Forestry in 1999, including Tokai and Cecilia plantations.  This is incorrect.  In 1999, the State chose to restructure state forestry assets. Press releases at the time were clear that the Tokai and Cecilia plantations would remain in perpetuity for the benefit of the people of Cape Town.

In a joint press release of 14 September 2000 then-Ministers Radebe and Kasrils stated: “An in-principle agreement has been reached between South African National Parks (SANP) and the management of the South African Forestry Company Limited (Safcol) to the effect that the Tokai and Cecilia plantations situated within the Table Mountain area will be incorporated into the Cape Peninsula National Park.  The areas will however continue to operate as commercial timber plantations and Safcol will manage these on an agency basis.  Tourism facilities will operate under the National Park and the plantations will continue to serve as important public recreational areas.”

In his press release of 2003 Minister Kasrils further stated: “Due to their location, Tokai and Cecilia plantations are an outdoor refuge for thousands of nearby city dwellers, particularly for previously disadvantaged communities living in the nearby Cape Flats area.  Exceptionally huge pine and eucalyptus trees that were planted at the inception of the plantation in the 1880s create a unique environment of scenic beauty and tranquillity within the city boundaries of Cape Town. The plantation areas are used for various sporting and recreational activities, such as jogging, mountain biking, and horse riding as well as hiking. The formalised picnic areas are exceptionally popular with people from areas around Cape Town with more than 100 000 visitors annually. These activities should remain part of the plantations’ management plan allowing public access and enjoyment of the area as well as commercial forest activities.”

SANParks in their submission for World Heritage Status to UNESCO in 2004 stated that the Tokai and Cecilia forests would be incorporated into and be managed as part of the national park by MTO Forestry. The submission states, “Tokai and Cecilia are commercially managed plantations within the boundaries of the CPPNE. MTO’s environmental policy supports the principles of Caring for the Earth and the International Forestry Stewardship Council. MTO is currently developing an Environmental Management System based on the ISO14001 standard.”

However, as early as 1999, Dr Tony Rebelo started pushing for the removal of the plantations in a bid to preserve endangered Cape Sand Fynbos in the lower Tokai area. In a 2004 report for Friends of Tokai Park, an entity run by Tony Rebelo and James Forsyth, Dr Pat Holmes, Dr Rebelo’s wife, writes “…forestry operations will be phased out over the next twenty years (James Forsyth & Braam du Preez, personal communications), with compartments potentially becoming available for restoration to natural vegetation following harvesting.”

This is of particular interest given that it is a few months later in January 2005, that Minister Buyelwa Sonjica of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, announced the decision exit from forestry in the Western Cape, including forestry in Tokai and Cecilia.   The press release states: “The Minister also assigned management responsibility for the Tokai Cecilia State forests in Cape Town to SANParks. This follows Cabinet’s decision in 1996 to develop the Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment. Tokai and Cecilia forests (1 001 hectares in extent) are located in the Protected Environment area and contain important lowland and mountain fynbos as well as pockets of Afro-montane forest, which need to be maintained. Eventually the two forests will be incorporated into the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP). In the interim, Tokai and Cecilia will be managed by MTO in terms of a 20 year lease during which they will gradually clear-fell the area where after it will be released for conservation.”

It is interesting to note that shortly after this, in April 2005, in the Key Issue Paper on Policy for the Transfer of State Owned Industrial Plantations, the authors note, “It is becoming increasingly recognised within the international forest policy debate that plantations offer tangible public benefits.” The report goes on to state, “In some countries (such as the UK) these public benefits have been valued to such an extent that the state has decided that it is in the public interest that the forests remain under public management and control. The emphasis of South Africa’s public goods is likely to be more on local economic development opportunities and the impact on downstream processing, but Tokai and Cecelia [sic] on the Cape Peninsular [sic] offer examples of where the recreational values of a forest may outweigh their commercial values.”

The decision to exit forestry in the Western Cape was done without consultation with the public or the forestry industry.   The public became primarily aware of the clear-felling decision via the 2006 TMNP Draft Park Management Plan.

 

PARKSCAPE 2018 FUNDRAISING GOLF CHALLENGE

CALLING ALL GOLFERS!

After the enormous success of our inaugural Golf Day last year, we’re hitting the greens and fairways again on 12 APRIL 2018 at WESTLAKE GOLF CLUB!

For a glimpse of last year’s event, take a look at our Events page.

A maximum of 28 teams are invited to compete in this prestigious event.

As with last year, aside from a fun day out on the golf course which includes snacks and tea/coffee with registration, Halfway Lunch and beverage, after game food platters, and a raffle, we will also be hosting our charity auction with well-known auctioneer, Joey Burke, as our MC for the evening.

We have some great items on offer including art work by Tay Dall, Andrew Cooper, Derric Van Rensburg, Ann Gadd and Jenny Jackson.

Flame Dance, by Tall Dall, one of the artworks on offer

We also have a line up of lovely accommodation and meals, including a wonderful three course meal from Michelin starred chef, Jurgen Schneider, at Springfontein Eats.

An array of wonderful Springfontein Eats dishes to tantalise your tastebuds

To ensure everyone wins something each team will be awarded a prize.  Yes, we think our players are worth spoiling!

We very much look forward to your company on the 12th April, whether as player, hole sponsor or prize sponsor.

For further information and registration forms, please click on the links below.

Parkscape Golf Day Cover Letter FINAL        Parkscape Golf Day Registration Forms 2018

Leave to Appeal is granted to SANParks

As you will be aware from the previous post, SANParks applied for leave to appeal against the judgement on 22 March, in the matter of Parkscape vs MTO and SANParks.

After taking considered legal advice Parkscape chose not to appeal the judgement.

SANParks’ leave to appeal was granted by Judge Pat Gamble on 25 April 2017, and Parkscape will meet SANParks in the Supreme Court of Appeal at a future date.

The Court Order may be viewed at Granting of Leave to Appeal April 2017.

Please note that the Court Order states:  “That, pending the outcome of the appeal, and any appeal process which may follow thereafter to the Constitutional Court, Second Respondent has undertaken not to permit the felling of pine trees in the Dennendal plantation in Table Mountain National Park.”

We are clearly in for the long ride but during that time shaded recreation will remain.

We are currently fund-raising to meet the cost of the Supreme Court of Appeal hearing via our inaugural Golf Day to be hosted on 8 June 2017. (See HERE for more information.)  We also plan to hold further community-focused fundraising events.  We do not, however, expect to be able to cover the full cost of the appeal with the funds raised from the Golf Day and smaller events. To this end we once again appeal to the generosity and community spirit you have previously shown in supporting the work Parkscape is doing with regard to SANParks and Tokai Park – particularly given there is likelihood that this case may go all the way to the Constitutional Court.

Should you wish to donate, please find our banking and Snapscan details below.  As ever, we thank you for your generosity and support through this entire process.

 

The Judgement and SANParks’ Leave to Appeal

On 1 March, Judge Patrick Gamble delivered judgement on the matter between Parkscape vs MTO Forestry (the first respondent) and SANParks (the second respondent).
The Order of the Court stated:

1. The applicant’s application, dated 2 November 2016, to amend its notice of motion, is granted;

2. The decision of the second respondent, taking during or about August 2016, to fell trees in the Tokai Forest in accordance with a new felling schedule, is hereby reviewed and set aside;

3. The first and second respondents are interdicted and restrained from felling any trees in the area of the Tokai Forest described as the Dennendal plantation in accordance with the new felling schedule, unless and until valid and lawful decisions to that effect are taken;

4. The second respondent shall pay the applicant’s costs herein, such costs to include the costs of the interdict application, the costs occasioned by the employment of one counsel only, and the qualifying fees of Prof Eugene John Moll;

5. The 1st respondent shall pay its own costs of suit.

The full judgement can be found HERE

On 22 March SANParks file Leave to Appeal. At this stage we do not know when Judge Gamble will hear the application.
The application can be found in the following link: SANParks leave to appeal

Cape Talk interview on the judgement

 

Cape Talk Interview with Parkscape Chair, Nicky Schmidt.

You can also listen to the interview on SoundCloud.

 

A COMPREHENSIVE WIN FOR THE COMMUNITY

Judgement in the matter of Parkscape vs SANParks and MTO Forestry was handed down by Judge Patrick Gamble this morning at the Cape Town High Court.  Parkscape has achieved a comprehensive win, with costs.

We are delighted with the outcome, and not just because we’ve been able to uphold the needs and wants of the community of over two and a half thousand people that we represent. We are also greatly encouraged that this judgement shows, once again, that South Africa’s legal system continues to uphold justice and just administrative action, particularly at this time when government and its agencies believe they are a law unto themselves.

This outright win ensures that SANParks, who have, to date, ignored Parkscape’s attempts to constructively engage, and despite our locus standi, will now be legally obliged to engage with us.

We sought, and have won, the right to a full and proper Public Participation Process regarding the nature and use of Tokai Park, or Tokai Forest as it is more commonly known by users.  SANParks and MTO Forestry are interdicted and restrained from further felling in the Dennendal plantation of Tokai until valid and lawful decisions pertaining to the matter have been taken.

We look forward to engaging with SANParks and other organisations in determining an outcome for Tokai Park that meets the needs of all in the broader community.

The Parkscape vision, going forward, includes shaded recreation, biodiversity, safety, social upliftment, culture, heritage, education and meeting the needs of the community’s rights to health and well-being.  It is a vision that we believe is inclusive and balanced.  With Judge Gamble’s ruling today, we look forward to setting out to make this vision a reality.

We thank all in the community for their ongoing support and generosity.  This has been a team effort from the beginning and the Parkscape team is humbled at being part of such a wonderful and inclusive community.

 

 

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Parkscape Golf Day 8 June 2017 – Registration Forms

Postnet Suite 25, Private Bag X26, Tokai, 7966. Email: info@parkscape.org.za

PARKSCAPE GOLF DAY – 08 JUNE 2017

REGISTRATION FORMS

FOURBALL @ R3200.00

Full Name Company Name Contact Number Email Official Handicap & Home Club
Team Name:

NOTE: Any golfer without an official handicap will be allowed a maximum handicap of 18

Please advise dietary requirements – halaal, vegetarian, kosher

 

SPECIAL OFFER: Should you wish to make multiple bookings we are offering: 2 Fourballs: R6200 and 3 Fourballs: R9000.

Please complete additional forms for multiple bookings.

Please note: Bookings are handled on a first come, first serve basis.

RSVP to events@parkscape.org.za by 25th March 2017.

Fourball reservations will only be confirmed once payment has been received.

Please send proof of payment by latest 31 March 2017 to Glenda at events@parkscape.org.za

PAYMENT:  Parkscape             Current Account No. 1137 993 928              NEDBANK CONSTANTIA

Reference: GD + your name or company name

 

HOLE SPONSORSHIP @ R3500.00 – Payment required by 31 March

Name & Company Name Contact Number Email Hole No # Preference

SPECIAL OFFER:  1 x 4 – Ball + hole sponsorship special @ R6500.00 – a saving of R200.00

 

PRIZE DONATION – we are also looking for team prizes i.e. four of the same item.

Prizes/sponsorship required by 31 March 2017.

 

Name & Company Name Contact Number Email Prizes (pls. specify)

www.parkscape.org.za

 

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Parkscape Golf Day – 8 June 2017

 

Parkscape, a registered non-profit organisation, is hosting a golf day on 8th June 2017 at the Westlake Golf Club at 10h00 with first tee-off at 11h23.  Funds will go towards the creation of a safe, community focused, biodiverse and shaded urban park in Lower Tokai.

You and/or your company are invited to support the Golf Day by participating, sponsoring prizes or sponsoring a hole.

Cost per fourball is R3200.00 with discounts on multiple fourballs. (2 Fourballs: R6200 and 3 Fourballs: R9000.)

This includes: –

  • A relaxing day on the golf course;
  • Registration with snacks and tea/coffee;
  • Halfway lunch and beverage;
  • After game food platters; and
  • PRIZES GALORE!

A maximum of 28 teams are invited to compete in this prestigious event.

We are offering marketing opportunities on Hole Sponsorship for R3 500.00.

Sponsors are welcome to put up banners at the holes and chat to our players. Any marketing material to be distributed to the golfers will be done at the Club House during registration.

We’re offering a discounted saving of R200.00 for a 4-Ball + Hole Sponsorship @ R6 500.00

For entries and to sponsor prizes (includes branding) please email Glenda on events@parkscape.org.za.

Registration forms available HERE

RSVP by 25th March  –   Payment and sponsorship/prizes by 31st March

Caddies and Golf Carts – players to contact Emelia on membership@westlakegolfclubco.za or 021 7882020 to arrange for own account.

For more information about Parkscape please visit the website www.parkscape.org.za/TokaiPark

 

www.parkscape.org.za

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Wild Fires in the Western Cape

Wild fires in the Western Cape – the authorities should take full responsibility!
By Prof. Eugene Moll

Pointing fingers at arsonists misses a very big part of the wild-fire picture. The people who are really to blame for the damage that the recent wild-fires have caused are the decision and policy makers – at national level (i.e. DAFF, DEA, SANParks), in provincial government (e.g. CapeNature, and the Environment and Planning Department), and the City of Cape Town (not so much the City Parks Department but more so the Spatial Planning and Urban Design people). Most of the people within these authorities are engineers, architects and planners with little or no ecological expertise or appreciation. As a consequence, there is a lack of professional understanding of how development should be steered in environmentally sensitive areas (particularly fynbos).

Why do I say this? And on what basis can I make such grave accusations?

Quite simply, as a plant ecologist, I have witnessed in the last 20 years and more a massive change in the manner in which the local environment has been miss-treated by the authorities – not least with respect to fire control and containment by the so-called conservation agencies; SANParks, CapeNature and to a lesser extent the City (where at least there are one or two professionals qualified in managing fire and vegetation in an urban setting). Another example of this lack of understanding of plant ecology is that the authorities have allowed infrastructure development in environmentally sensitive and unsafe areas; and continue to do so (take the Phillipi Horticultural Area housing development debacle replacing productive farmland with housing). Yet another excellent example is where thatched roofed, wooden dwellings are built surrounded by fire prone vegetation (e.g. the Silvermine overnight facility on the Hoerikwaggo Trail that was razed in 2015). A final excellent example is the canalizing of the rivers on the Cape Flats resulting in a drying out the wetlands that previously not only “cleaned” the water but slowed it down, allowing vitally important ground-water re-charge.

The only explanation I have for such inept management is that the majority of modern Sapiens has completely lost touch with Nature. Most of us know that fynbos is a unique vegetation type, but many do not comprehend the fact that this enormously diverse region was moulded by fire over millennia – and that without fire we would not have the rich biodiversity we enjoy in the Cape Floristic Region today. Yet the “authorities” are obviously ignorant of these evolutionary drivers and treat development and management in a Eurocentric fashion. Why then is it that we do not use local African expertise to guide us?

The only plausible explanation is that amongst the biodiversity conservation professional there is a division between those of us who recognise human needs as a key factor in environmental management and that conservation is a human construct, versus those that simply want to manage biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake (the latter considering that Sapiens is totally culpable for all damage caused and that modern humans should suffer for what our predecessors did). The difference between the purists and my approach is that I blame the authorities for the current dire situation rather that the general public. The irony is that developers and governments have exploited these differences for their short-term monetary gain. Long-term, however, it is up to all of us to ensure our own safety and wellbeing. This situation can only be resolved by us demanding better all-round management that takes into consideration the ecological and human imperatives.

In the past fynbos was block-burned to avoid excessive biomass accumulation, and to create a mosaic of different ages of fynbos so wild-fires could be more easily managed. In addition, there was also a network of fire-breaks that were well maintained annually to enable fire-fighters to contain wild-fires more easily. For those Capetonians old enough to remember there was once an inter-departmental/governmental “Cape Peninsula Wild Fire Protection Committee” whose task it was to ensure the Cape Peninsula was properly managed so that any wild-fires could be more easily contained to prevent excessive damage “to life and limb”. In the past, it was the Peninsula where most people were threatened by wildfires. Today this situation has changed with urbanisation stretching higher into all the mountainous areas in the Western Cape. I also believe that back then people were more in-tune with nature, such that they took responsibility to ensure their own properties were safely sited and fire-proofed. Urban expansion and densification that has been allowed by the City has placed additional pressure on the urban/fynbos edge, and the siting of dwellings within highly flammable vegetation makes matters even worse.

It is not just here in the Cape where Sapiens has lost their way. In recent years devastating wild-fires have ripped through Mediterranean-climate countries for example California and eastern Australia, where First World management ignores the ecological imperative of vegetation fires being the norm. Thus, the lack of ecological understanding by Sapiens is not just limited to the Western Cape but is a global malady of our species becoming increasingly divorced from Nature.

Today in South Africa we concentrate the vast majority of resources on fighting fires when they occur, rather than preventing the spread of wild-fires. Wild-fires that can be best limited by proper ecological management of the vegetation in the safe fire-season, by having effective fire-breaks, and by making sure local residents are well educated about the dangers fire and especially of wild-fire. The reason for this about-face in policy is that fire departments, that now deal with vegetation fires, have evolved from urban teams. This means we now concentrate on extinguishing wild-fires once they have started rather than managing biomass and fuel accumulation beforehand – to prevent and contain fires when the weather conspires against us in favour of run-away fires. Matters locally in the fynbos are now also complicated by excessive alien vegetation encroachment, partly as the result of the removal of well managed plantations, and because these alien infestations are not being effectively removed – despite all the money thrown at the problem. All this lack of understanding of fire ecology and the absolute requirement for proper preventative management means that when the conditions are right wild-fires pose a huge danger –  exacerbated by people in our community who take some sort of sadistic delight in starting fires. Together, these factors are a recipe for catastrophe.

From memory, and looking at the area where the fire raged on Wednesday 11th January, this is a part of the Peninsula with dense alien infestations (in some parts the aliens had been felled and gathered into piles to dry) as well as areas of old fynbos (which are massive stands of flammable biomass) that I argue should have been subjected to managed burns at a safe time of the year and safe-guarded by appropriate fire-breaks.

Capetonians will remember other devastating wild-fires in 2015 and 2000. What have we learned from these? Very little, it seems. The fact is that when the fires rage there is a lot of remarkable and extremely brave action, a lot of talking, and some amazing deeds of humanitarian action. But once the months pass we simply forget and return blissfully to our world totally divorced from Nature’s reality. The lack of awareness concerning the current drought is just another case-in-point where Sapiens shows a remarkable degree of ignorance and arrogance.

Today, because we all depend on “the authorities” to guide us and take responsibility for our welfare, we simply trust that things will improve. However, from where I sit things are in fact getting worse, much worse! Perhaps it is time for a real wake-up call and for people to start taking responsibility for their own actions? To do so people need to educate themselves and endeavour to understand the ecological drivers of fynbos, while at the same time lobbying their local members to make environmentally sound decisions, and to return to some old-fashioned appreciation and respect of Nature.

Seeking Balance in Lower Tokai

Image copyright : Shelly Chadburn-Barron

 

Meeting the needs of people and conservation

Prof Eugene Moll & Nicky Schmidt

There has been a determined, and one might say, deliberate attempt on the part of certain biodiversity lovers and environmentalists to obfuscate the reality of Lower Tokai. Led by Dr Tony Rebelo, Friends of Tokai Park, a small group active in Lower Tokai for several years, have adopted a single-minded approach – Cape Flats Sand Fynbos above all else.  It’s a noble approach but forgets that for over 60 years users from across greater Cape Town have enjoyed the area for shaded recreation.  So critical is Lower Tokai for shaded recreation that in 2006 interest groups and affected users entered into such intense negotiation with SANParks, manager of the area, that it led to the formation of a mayoral task team to oversee the matter.  The outcome of negotiations – which lasted well over two years – was a document entitled the Tokai Cecilia Management Framework, which, while arguing for conservation also accepted the critical need for shaded recreation – and presented a balanced vision of the future.  The vision was to be created on the basis of “transition areas” – cyclical felling and planting of exotic shade trees, ensuring there would always be large tracts of shade, together with biodiversity conservation in order to ensure that fynbos seedbanks were preserved.  The fires of March 2015 and an accelerated felling programme on the part of MTO Forestry have resulted in an outcome in which little or no shade will be provided in any kind of immediate future, if ever, given that – as indicated by Friends of Tokai Park – the entire area is to be given over to fynbos.  Two points should be made – one is that of administrative justice – any deviation from or change to the Management Framework, should be done in consultation with the public as it was done in 2006 and as per the National Environmental Management Act.  The second is that the type of fynbos that currently grows in Lower Tokai is dense, head height and presents a grave safety risk – as has already been witnessed by the brutal murder of 16-year old Franziska Blöchliger in March this year.

Friends of Tokai Park have consistently vilified the approach made by Parkscape, a community organisation which represents over 2500 people from across the Cape Peninsula.  Yet the Parkscape approach is one that seeks to meet the needs of both biodiversity conservation and the needs of people.  In an urban environment one cannot afford to separate the two.

While recreating a wilderness environment to the urban edge is commendable at multiple levels it cannot be done without considerable challenges and risks.  To encourage the natural regeneration of fynbos species, extremely hot fires are required (such as were witnessed in 2015). These are not the kind of fires the City Fire Department is likely to allow in the midst of suburbia.  There are homes on both sides of the remaining strip of plantation in Lower Tokai, with paths/”firebreaks” of between only 7 – 10 meters between Park vegetation and private properties. It goes without saying that the dangers posed by hot fires – which need, in order to be effective, to be done on hot days with high winds – are considerable.  To allow them would be an act of irresponsibility which could endanger property, health and lives.  Yet, without these hot fires, ecologically appropriate of natural fynbos, regeneration cannot occur.  To resort to planting and seed scattering, as has been done in the “restored” area of Lower Tokai, takes a considerable amount of money.

Moreover, the success of restoration in Lower Tokai is by no means assured, particularly given the changed nature of the environment and soil conditions.  What existed 130 plus years ago and prior to farming and plantations, no longer exists given the encroachment of the city. Observations made by biodiversity experts are littered with “if”, “perhaps”, “we hope” and “we’ll have to wait and see”.  In other words, there is no certainty that this experiment will be successful – because yes, the fuss over Lower Tokai goes around a large scale botanical experiment, driven by a small group to the cost of many – including the elderly, disabled, disadvantaged and young – who use Lower Tokai on a daily basis for shaded recreation.

The irony is that the presently shaded are of Lower Tokai, at only 22ha, presents considerable public good benefit – and, more critically, it is not the only place in which Cape Flats Sand Fynbos occurs.  The 1445ha Blaauwberg conservancy, which includes shell middens dating back 15 000 years, presents a far larger area for conservation and with considerably less, if any, impact on an urban edge.

For some reason the Rebelo’s Friends of Tokai Park would have the public believe that Lower Tokai is a “life and death” situation.  However, if it was not “life and death” in 2006, it’s unlikely to be “life and death” ten years on. Immediate felling of the remaining section of the plantation is not critical – any seedbanks that exist in the substantially changed soil conditions have remained intact for over 130 years and have, ironically, been protected by the existence of plantations when they might have been eradicated by property development. The only real driver to accelerated felling is the commercial interest of MTO Forestry. (It should be noted, that felling commenced in Lower Tokai with less than 24 hours notification to residents in the immediate area and attempts were repeatedly made to continue felling through the night despite contravention of City bylaws.)

Friends of Tokai Park has been vociferous in insisting that it is right and Parkscape is wrong.  The matter, however, is not about right and wrong. It is not either/or.  It is about meeting the needs of two groups that are not nearly as diverse as the Friends of Tokai would have the public believe.  The vast majority of Parkscape member supporters understand the significance of conservation and support it – they do, however, also understand the human need. An unnecessary amount of bad faith and ill feeling has been fostered by FOTP over Lower Tokai.  And it has been accompanied by an unwillingness to engage in any kind of meaningful or constructive way.  Unlike FOTP, Parkscape does not see itself as being on the “other side of the fence”.  It sees itself as being on the same side of the fence, but with broader views and opinions that seek a balanced win-win outcome for all.  Unfortunately, it appears that the concept of balance is anathema to the Friends.

It is worth pointing that Parkscape is not driven to “save the pines”.  The Parkscape focus has, first and foremost, been driven by safety in the Lower Tokai buffer zone, followed by people needs in an area that has been long been enjoyed by local communities.  There has never been any talk of “saving pines” on the part of Parkscape. The pines are a crop and were always to be harvested. Biodiversity lovers should take a good look at the vision the Parkscape proposes for Lower Tokai to confirm this.  The Tokai Park page of the Parkscape website is quite clear in its vision. They will also find that the vision contains reference to a balance between conservation and shaded recreation (and makes no mention of plantations or pines).  It also encompasses culture and heritage, community building and social upliftment.  It is a position that has been supported, via Parkscape petitions, by well over 3000 people.

Despite this, FOTP appear to believe that the Parkscape vision provides for a pristine park like Green Point Park or Wynberg Park or Kirstenbosch.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. The vision is drawn from the existing landscape and what is required in terms of both biodiversity and people needs. Furthermore, it is augmented by research of highly successful national urban parks, such as Presidio in San Francisco, Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto, Stanley Park in Vancouver, Parc de Colserolla in Barcelona – parks where biodiversity considerations go hand in hand with refuge for urban dwellers.  This is what Table Mountain National Park, including Lower Tokai, was always meant to be – a balance between environment and people, culture and heritage.  Table Mountain National Park was formed on the basis of being a “Park for All Forever”, not a Park for Biodiversity to the Exclusion of All Else.

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