Alcohol and substance abuse has dire implications for millions of South Africans as it contributes towards many ills such as crime, gangsterism, domestic violence and other forms of social problems. Sadly, some of these social ills have spilled over to certain reserve facilities and CapeNature would like to curb this kind of behaviour in the great outdoors.
CapeNature CEO, Dr Razeena Omar, explains why: “CapeNature is the biodiversity conservation authority for conservation in the Western Cape and with this comes a huge social responsibility. We pride ourselves in creating access for all which is trusted and safe.
“We are proactive in striking the balance between social challenges and protecting these World Heritage Sites. This is why we are affiliated with, and support numerous social organisations and work alongside the South African Police Service.”
The Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve is outside of Stellenbosch in the Jonkershoek Valley. The reserve has two hiking trails open to the public, where guests can swim in the Eerste River. In the Du Toitskloof Mountains, near Paarl is Limietberg Nature Reserve. It offers a number of beautiful hikes through steep kloofs and the Tweede Tol picnic spot surrounded by deep valleys.
Entry at the gate is a conservation fee of R50 for adults and R30 for children. Additional security and foot patrols will be rolled out at both reserves.
Dr Omar adds: “Our hope is that we will have the support of our visitors to adhere to this plight against the social ills that plague our communities. We need to ensure our reserves are kept on an international standard and incident-free to attract more tourists and plough back into the local community.”
In line with the its mandate to create access to a greater proportion of the population, CapeNature invites all citizens to enjoy the 24 nature reserves across the province during this festive season by keeping footprints light and respecting the guidelines implemented.