Image: Warren Rohner/Flickr
After the horrific and violent Newlands Ravine attack two weeks ago The Mountain Club of SA (Cape Town Section) released a statement on Thursday urging its members to be cautious of increasing possible threats to their personal safety while hiking and climbing in and around the Table Mountain National Park
The recent attack is just one on a long list of continuous violent assaults. The Vine will be hosting a monthly fundraiser and work on a proposal to “get funding for Mountain Men to assist with the security on Table Mountain on top of the plan that government will be rolling out next week”.
The Table Mountain Security Action Group (TMSAG) is also getting involved, demanding authorities put a legitimate and meaningful action into place urgently.
Cape Town has breathtaking scenery that all who live here should be able to experience and embrace peacefully. As of right now, very few areas are considered completely safe which is nothing short of sad.
Read on below for The Mountain Club’s safety tips and helplines.
MOUNTAIN CLUB OF SOUTH AFRICA
Newlands Forest in its entirety, Newlands Ravine, the Saddle behind Devil’s Peak, the slopes of Devil’s Peak, the Blockhouses and nearby mountain biking trails.
All these areas have seen several assaults recently and while some of the perpetrators have, of late, been apprehended, others remain at large. There are also reports of people living there, hence the increased risks.
RISING RISK AREARS
Signal Hill and Lion’s Head, Noordhoek & Kommetjie Beach, Sandy Bay & Karbonkelberg, Vlakkenberg, Blackburn Ravine, Elephant’s Eye, Kleinplaas Dam area, Black Hill and Red Hill, Slangkop, Peer’s Cave and Sunrise Beach.
KNOWN VEHICLE BREAK-INS
A significant increase in the number of vehicle break-ins is occurring at the end of Tafelberg Road, at the Rhodes Memorial parking areas and on Signal Hill Road.
Currently, these include Silvermine East and the Kalk Bay mountains, where there have been fewer reports of incidents of late, while Cape Point, Silvermine West, the Back Table, Orange Kloof and the Apostles remain relatively crime-free at the present time.
1. Hike in a group. While this does not preclude being attacked, it may serve as a deterrent.
2. Be aware of potential threats. The suddenness of an attack leads to panic, which may exacerbate the situation. An alert, obviously aware group, poses a harder target.
3. If attacked, it is advisable NOT to resist. Handing over your “valuables” decreases the chances of being harmed (although unfortunately, this is not always the case).
4. In the event that you can see that an attack is imminent, hide your cell phone in the vegetation or rocks so that you are able to summon help much faster afterwards.
5. Keep the emergency contact numbers on your phones. Check that all members of the party have these numbers. Also keep those numbers somewhere on your person.
6. Keep a lookout on social media for the various “Safe Hikes” and “Take Back Our Mountain” initiatives, in which the MCSA is an active participant, and lend your support. These are proving to be highly successful.
EMERGENCY CONTACT (for crime or accident situations)
021 937 0300
Metro Emergency Medical Services, who will activate Mountain Rescue, and have the ability to escalate your call to all relevant agencies.
021 480 7700
Public Emergency Communication Centre, which is the central control for reporting crime on the mountain or anywhere else.
These control centres can easily communicate with each other and all emergency services and are currently your best options.