People living in areas affected by baboon raids could face an increase in tax rates to fund a more baboon-friendly wildlife management program, the City of Cape Town said on Thursday.
The establishment of special Assessment areas in baboon-affected suburbs is one of several proposals to be discussed with residents as part of a push for a new baboon management policy.
“The special tariffs can fund solutions to keep baboons out of the urban area said the city.
Other proposals under discussion include fencing, better waste management, road signage and new conditions for development in areas close to the baboons’ natural habitat.
These proposals follow a meeting of the state regulators involved in baboon management in Kirstenbosch this week .
The City Council, CapeNature and SA National Parks (SANParks) have committed to addressing the baboons challenge through a joint task team, with input from civil society invited.
Several Cape Town neighborhoods have been hit by repeated baboon raids, in some cases resulting in casualties or property damage.
The city said its baboon management policy, which included deterrent tactics such as paintball markers and “bear bangers,” had failed to discourage baboons from entering urban areas. The program, implemented in 2012, ends later this month.
The city is spending millions of rand to try to keep baboons out of urban areas, a task that city officials say SANParks and CapeNature have so far largely ignored.
“The baboons are not deterred from leaving Table Mountain National Park, causing troops to split up and move out of the park into urban areas with large lots and trees,” the city said.
An increase in baboon numbers and a correspondingly reduced ranger to baboon ratio compounded the problem.
“Most of these challenges are beyond the City’s control and require the participation of our partners within it area, namely SANParks, which manages Table Mountain National Park and is responsible for the wildlife in the park, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and CapeNature,” said the S city.
Eddie Andrews, Deputy Mayor of Cape Town and a member of the Mayor’s Committee on Spatial Planning and the Environment, said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the new task team could help solve baboon problems.
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