Crime on Table Mountain: New road restrictions for the summer season ’06
An attack on two British tourists hit the news today and has caused some shock waves amongst the management of Cape Town Tourism. A somewhat knee-jerk reaction has called for parties of less than 4 or 5 to be turned away from entering Tafelberg Road and Signal Hill road after 10pm. This will last until the end of the summer season. I think this response is partly owing to the run-up to 2010 (World Cup), where bad publicity is just bad publicity.
A friend of mine regularly flies remote controlled gliders on signal hill and was instructed one evening, by the police, not to be there by himself. The cop noted that he had seen a shady character hanging around. I am no super police detective, but surely the people you want to be escorting from the area are in fact those shady characters?
This is very sad state of affairs. I do not use the mountain as much I used to because we live on the other side of Table Bay, but it is comforting to know that’s it’s there if you need it. These two roads at night are Cape Towns “lover’s lane” and offer spectacular views over the city and sea. To have these freedoms being eroded by petty crime and lack of policing will really strike a chord with locals. In fact I feel like going up there right now.
More security presence has been promised in the form of patrols and dogs; hopefully they will put an end to this nonsense. Table Mountain is the icon of Cape Town; I can’t imagine the Aussie police putting up with muggings atop the Sydney opera house.
So for visitors keen on seeing the view from Signal hill or the Table Mountain road, please do so during the day, or in an organized tour bus and always aware, until we can rid our national park of this pestilence. My apologies on their behalf!