The City of Cape Town has awarded an 18 month contract for baboon management on the Peninsula till 30 June 2012, to Nature Conservation Corporation (NCC) Environmental Services.
This will ensure that baboon monitoring services on the Peninsula are not interrupted whilst the City waits for the outcome of a declaratory order outlining the respective responsibilities wrt baboons of the different spheres of Government.
The City filed an application with the Western Cape High Court last month, asking the court to draft a declaratory order that will clarify the responsibilities that each of the three spheres of Government has to play in the management of baboons, as the City is currently carrying this financial responsibility on its own even though it is not constitutionally mandated to manage wild animals.
Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayoral Committee Member for Planning and Environment, emphasised that: “The City cannot allow the interruption of the baboon monitoring programme, as it would be disastrous for the City and its citizens in many respects. Interruption of the service will mean that the programme will lose momentum and it will compromise the long-term viability of a programme that is currently achieving good successes in managing and controlling the baboon population on the Peninsula.”
NCC Environmental Services was first awarded the contract for baboon management on the Peninsula from 01 August 2009 has had their contract renewed after a considerable improvement in the reduction of incidents between people and baboons. The City has received financial support from the Provincial Government, Western Cape, through their CapeNature agency and the Department of Environmental Affairs through their Expanded Public Works Programme(EPWP) to pay for Baboon monitoring.
Since 01 October 2010, baboon monitors have been deployed to areas not previously served by baboon monitors. These areas are now also included in the new tender. Given the estimation by researchers at the University of Cape Town that baboon monitors reduce baboon-human interactions by up to 80%, the provision of additional monitors is expected to significantly improve the situation, even though there will always be challenges to cover an area as large as the south Peninsula.
Alderman Nieuwoudt said that the City closely evaluates the progress of the baboon monitoring programme to ensure its effectiveness.
“The City has confidence in the way that baboon monitoring on the Peninsula is currently being done, and we evaluate the results of the programme on a continuous basis to keep on improving it where necessary. We also gain valuable insights from the University of Cape Town’s baboon research programme. The City will rely on guidance from this research to finalise our baboon management strategy,” she added.
Extracts from Communication Department, City of Cape Town Media Release 09 NOVEMBER 2010
Media enquiries: Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayoral Committee Member for Planning and Environment. Tel: 021 400 1307 or ell: 084 224 0023
Stephen Granger, Manager: Strategic Projects, Environmental Resource Management Department, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 487 2236 or Cell: 084 331 8638