The Table Mountain Fund, SANParks and WWF have teamed up to raise funds to purchase two privately owned properties on Roodeberg in the Scenic South Peninsula for inclusion in the Table Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site. The Roodeberg lies behind Capri and between Ocean View and the Glencairn Highway.

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The ‘Restore the Roodeberg’ campaign was launched in the Scenic South Peninsula yesterday, 28 January, with members of the Table Mountain Fund, SANParks, WWF, civic and environmental  organisations and the media taking a walk from the Glencairn Highway through the area, which is  “threatened with inappropriate development, overwhelmed with fire-prone alien invasive vegetation and over-grazed, making the need to acquire them an even greater priority.”  The ‘Restore the Roodeberg’ campaign team needs to raise R9,2 million by June 2014 in order to purchase the properties and they are calling on members of the public, organisations, schools and businesses to help them.

Over the past ten years the three conservation bodies have been working to consolidate five private properties into the park, two of which have been purchased and the third acquired through contract. One of the remaining  properties is the now defunct Solole Game Reserve.

The Roodeberg has a rich variety of vegetation types: sandstone fynbos, duneveld and quartzitic restionaceous veld. 178 indigenous fynbos species have been recorded on the mountain, 14 of which are Cape Peninsula endemics and several of which are endangered and vulnerable with “extremely localilsed distributions”. Once the properties have been purchased, SANParks will embark on a programme of alien clearing and rehabilitation which will provide job opportunities for people in the surrounding communities.

The Roodeberg was also once the home range of herds of Vaal Riebok and it is planned to reintroduce the species to the  area.

The restoration of the Roodeberg will “provide hikers, trail runners and horse-riders seeking a nature experience in a rich fynbos experience with a significant new are for enjoyment for generations to come.'”

“The Table Mountain National Park is our economy,” said local Councillor Simon Liell-Cock. “We should be encouraging visitors to stay longer in our area to enjoy the beauty of our mountain and seascapes. We have a unique history, heritage and geology in the South Peninsula and we should be making more of it. Incorporating this mountain into the Table Mountain National Park is an excellent  move.”

For more information about the Restore the Roodeberg Campaign see www.wwf.org.za

To join the campaign and to make a donation contact Dr Amy Goldblatt on  083 479 2178 or email her on agoldblatt@wwf.org.za.