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Money-spinner Table Mountain raked in a whopping R307m last year

02 December 2019 - 16:33 By Amil Umraw
With its popular cable car, Table Mountain National Park is a major tourism earner for Cape Town.
With its popular cable car, Table Mountain National Park is a major tourism earner for Cape Town.

Table Mountain National Park collected an annual income of more than R307m in the latest financial year.

This is almost three times what it costs South African National Parks (SANParks) to operate facilities at Cape Town's prized attraction.

According to environment, forestry and fisheries minister Barbara Creecy - in response to parliamentary questions from members of the Democratic Alliance - most of the money came from fees to access Cape Point and Boulders Beach, as well as concession fees for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company.

The R307.9m was earned between April 2018 and March 2019.

Although SANParks does not have figures for how much is reinvested directly back into the park, Creecy said it costs about R90m for operational costs, about R18m to finance its infrastructure programme and about R14.7m to pay for the expanded public works programme.

Creecy also fielded questions about what measures have been put in place to protect homes from wildfires that start in protected areas.

"SANParks and the city of Cape Town, with support of the Cape Peninsula Fire Protection Association, have established and maintain a system of firebreaks. The circum-peninsula firebreak network is a perimeter firebreak that has been established," she said. 

The firebreak network is about 150km long and covers land belonging to SANParks, the city, the state and private owners.

"Highly trained and well equipped firefighting crews that specialise in wildfire management are available. A myriad of aerial and ground firefighting resources are available if necessary," added Creecy.

The fire season in Cape Town from December to April. More than 30 residential properties were destroyed earlier this year when wildfires ravaged the Betty's Bay area