No-go for motorbikes
With South African National Parks Week being celebrated until Saturday 15 September, conservation staff at Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) are seeing evidence of motorbike use along the tracks and evidence of damage to vegetation as new routes are created throughout the mountainous terrain.
“This evidence is found in the Jonkersdam/Blackhill area of TMNP. The entire park is a no-go site for motorbikes and we request that all motorbikers please ensure they acquaint themselves with the ownership of the land they off-road on. Stating you did not know who the owner of the land is, is not considered a valid legal excuse when arrested,” says Saskia Marlow, the TMNP’s spokesperson.
The impact of the motorbikers creating new routes can be seen as multiple, from damage to rare and endangered plants, to small mammals disappearing.
“Changes such as these in the ecosystem have major impacts on the prey and predator dynamics in the area. Recreational users are complaining about horses and dogs being terrified and/or almost involved in collisions with bikers roaring past. The impacts caused by the movement of soil and the ruts in specific locations after the rain have caused water run-off issues and damaged the surface of the tracks involved. The park will have to incur unnecessary expenditure to repair the damage.”
The National Environmental Management Act states that should anyone be caught in the park on a motorbike, they will be subject to the legal process available to the park.