The Rhodes Memorial Section of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) has been partially reopened to hikers, runners, and cyclists following the devastating fire that destroyed more than 650 hectares of land earlier this year.
The fire assessment at the Rhodes Tea Room has been finalised and the insurers have appointed a Heritage Architect to oversee the construction work and contractors were appointed to clean the damaged area.
VEHICLE ACCESS NOT PERMITTED DUE TO FELLING
“Partial reopening of the area has been granted to users by TMNP management which allows hikers, runners, cyclists, etc. to make use of the area through the turnstile located at the main entrance. Vehicle access is not permitted at this stage as felling operations continue. We urge users to be cautious when carrying out their activities in the area,” said Frans van Rooyen, the TMNP Park Manager.
He said that the rehabilitation work is still underway in the Rhodes Memorial section and an assessment of the burnt area was done by TMNP together with an appointed service provider, who identified approximately 280 burnt trees for felling along Rhodes Memorial.
Felling operations commenced in the area on 16 August 2021 and is set to be completed by the end of November 2021, weather permitting.
To date, 434 trees including Devil’s Peak and Game Camp Area, have been successfully felled by the contractor.
Van Rooyen said the possible rebuilding of the Tea Room has been delayed as a result of discussions with the Department of Public Works who are the custodians of the Land.
TEA ROOM REBUILDING TO BE APPROVED BY WC HERITAGE
“Secondly, the Tea Room is a Heritage Site and all deliberations and decisions on the building must be approved by Heritage Western Cape. If the Park decides to rebuild the Restaurant, Heritage Western Cape will have to approve the plans,” he said.
All the infrastructure related to water, electricity, and sewerage systems were severely affected by the fire and have to be re-established.
Van Rooyen also said that the insurers are busy with evaluations and in the process of appointing service providers to commence with the work.
All of this will take some time but TMNP will keep the Public abreast of all the developments through regular communication.